Skip to main content

Full text of "Brahms and his women's choruses"

See other formats



Assoc, of American College^ 

Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2011 with funding from 

Boston Library Consortium IVIember Libraries 


and his 




Published by 

Sophie Drinker 

249 Merion Rd., 

Merion, Pa. 

Under the Auspices of 

MusuRGiA Publishers 

Dr. Albert G. Hess 

Oui: *f 71a» 

CUvft^'-UAMx, (J Ou^AA^AM^ LUi'-r'<. 

Copyright 1952 

Sophie Drinker 



and his 

Preface by Karl and Irene Geiringer 

The Source Material and Bibliography 

The Origin of the Hamburger Frauenchor 

The Influence of Gottingen 


Developments in Hamburg 


Franziska Meier's Diary 


"The Little Singing Republic' 

The " Avertimento' 

Public Performance 

Choruses in Cuxhaven and Vienna 

Appendix, References, and Index 



The Quartette 1 

Friedchen Wagner 10 

Johannes Brahms 13 

Sketch of Joachim 18 

Sketch of Brahms 18 

Karl Gradener 19 

Version of a Marienlied for Women's Voices 22 

Theodor Ave-Lallement 23 

Franziska Meier 24 

St. Peter's Church 37 

Elise Brahms 38 

"The Mourning Society" 51 

The Volckers' House 68 

Brahms' Manuscript 69 

Brahms' Manuscript 70 

Notation from Marie's Book 70 

Brahms' Manuscript 71 

Three-part Version of Mein Schatz 72 

Title Page of Camilla's Book 75 

Title Page of Camilla's Book 78 

Brahm's Manuscript 101 

Index to Marie's Book 104 


A study dealing thoroughly with the women' s chorus, which 
Johannes Brahms founded in Hamburg, has been long overdue. 
In full-size biographies this episode is more or less passed 
over. Yet it was of the utmost importance for the develop- 
ment of young Brahms. Decisive features of his artistic 
personality were first revealed in the work he did through 
three years with this enthusiastic group. His peculiar 
technique in writing for vocal ensembles, his interest in the 
skillful combination of womens voices, his deep love for the 
folksong found expression in his compositions and arrange- 
ments for the little chorus. The girls' delighted response 
meant encouragement, their willingness to follow him on new 
paths gave him a testing ground so important for a young 
composer . 

Sophie Drinker, who has made it her lifetask to study 
the position of women in various cultural fields, and espe- 
cially in music, is singularly qualified for her work. She 
collected pertinent data with the greatest energy and devotion 
and succeeded in unearthing a great deal of unknown and at- 
tractive material. Out of it emerges a charming picture of 
a group of music-minded young ladies in the middle of the 
past century and of their adored leader, the young genius, 
who was still looking at the future with glowing confidence, 
blissfully ignorant of the fact that there was to be no place 
for him in his native city, where he was confident that he 
had established an important foothold through his work with 
the women's chorus. 

Karl and Irene Geiringer 
Boston, May 1951. 

Laura Garbe, Betty Volckers, Marie Reuter, 

Marie Volckers formed the far-famed vocal 

quartette which evolved from the 

Hamburger Frauenchor (see p. 59). 


Brahms was thirty years old in 1863 and, before then, 
he had worked for several years with women's choruses. All 
of his biographers mention these groups for which he composed 
the lovely music we still enjoy. But no one of the authors 
gives all the available data nor do they entirely agree on 
many points of interest, especially on the history of the 
Hamburger Frauenchor . 

The purpose of this little book is to bring the original 
sources of information together in chronological order. 

The unpublished material consists of: 

1. Extracts from the Diary of Franziska Meier, a member of 
the Hamburger Frauenchor, as copied out by Anna Lentz, 
her daughter, from her original manuscript. 

2. Letters from Anna Lentz. 

3. Memoirs of Friedchen Wagner, the founder of the Hamburger 
Frauenchor , as sent by her son, Kurt Sa nermann. 

4. Letters from Hans Albrecht, who assisted me in collecting 
the material. 

5. Letters from Karl Geiringer, Curator of the Museum of 
the Gesellschaft der Uusikfreunde , Vienna, in 1937. 

6. The Stimmenhefte (music note-books) made by the singers, 
who copied out their individual voice parts from Brahms' 

The Stimmenhefte referred to here belonged to Friedchen 
Wagner, Franziska and Camilla Meier, Marie and Betty Volckers, 
all members of the Hamburger Frauenchor . 

- 1 - 

These books contain: 

I Twenty- five compositions subsequently published for 
women's voices; 

II Seven original songs subsequently arranged by Brahms 
for mixed chorus or for solo voice; 

III One original part song for women's voices, arranged by 
Brahms from the solo song, Op. 14, No. 8; 

IV One original part song for women's voices, transposed 
by Brahms from his setting for men's voices, later 
published as Op. 41, No. 1; 

V Two canons not published in Brahms' lifetime; 

VI A short original part song, not published in Brahms* 

VII Two unfinished compositions; 

VIII Fifty- five folk songs in 3 or 4 parts, some in both; 

IX Thirty- two pieces by other composers; 

X Twelve songs and canons in Brahms' manuscript. (App. E) 

(See Appendix for detailed lists) 

I have five of Friedchen's note-books. Four of them 
contain the single voice parts of some of the music sung by 
the chorus. In her "Stimme 1" book is Vineta, written out 
by her with corrections and alterations in Brahms' own hand. 
The fifth of the little, thin, brown volumes is the Partitur 
der Volks lieder . In it is the piano accompaniment to Der 
Gartner (Op. 17, No. 3). On the title page, with a list of 
songs, are the words: Brahms, dreistimmig , gesetzt fur uns . 
"Brahms, three part, set for us" can mean only one thing: 
that Brahms made three part settings of folksongs for 
Friedchen and her friends and that the songs are inscribed 
in this note-book. 

- 2 - 

According to Anna Lentz, Franziska Meier's tiny note- 
books containing only her own part were the ones she sang 
from at the weekly meetings of the Hamburger Frauenchor . 
Later, she and her sister Camilla made the larger books with 
all the parts, including piano accompaniments to Nos . 2, 3, 
and 4 of Op. 17. Franziska drew the charming illustrations 
that reveal so much of fact and fancy in the lives of these 
musically talented girls. (See Chapter IX) 

The ten books of the Volckers sisters are especially 
valuable, since they contain what is undoubtedly the complete 
second soprano and alto parts of the unfinished Benedictus 
and Brautgesang. (See Chapter III) I do not have the volume 
with the soprano solo and a few bars of the soprano tutti of 
the Brautgesang, evidently the only one seen by Kalbeck and 
described by him in Vol. I, 2, p. 376 of his Johannes Brahms. 
Best of all, in the Volckers' books, are twelve songs written 
out by Brahms himself, three of which are reproduced in this 
study. (See Appendix E) 

My interest in Brahms' music for women was aroused by a 
women's chorus which met in our music room at Merion, Penn- 
sylvania, for about fifteen years. As I sang a second alto 
part in that compelling Romantic music, I used to wonder 
what those girls, who had first sung it, were like and what 
were the circumstances that had led Brahms to compose it. 

The enthusiasm of the Montgomery Singers was shared and, 
in fact, enhanced by the interest of my husband, Henry S. 
Drinker. At that time, he was translating the vocal texts 
of Brahms, both the solo songs and the choral works. His 
editions, with English words, of compositions previously 
published and of other works originally written for the 
Hamburger Frauenchor added to our repertoire and to our 
enjoyment. His complete edition of Brahms' compositions for 
women's voices is listed in Appendix D. 

- 3 - 

At this same time - 1934 - my husband and I became 
friends with Etta Albrecht, a German girl from Hamburg and a 
student at Bryn Mawr College. We often talked to her about 
Brahms and Hamburg and wondered if we could find out some- 
thing about the young women of the Frauenchor . We wished, 
too, to trace the Stimmenhefte, the music note-books into 
which the singers had copied their individual parts from 
Brahms' manuscripts. 

Etta suggested that we ask her father. Dr. Hans Albrecht, 
to make inquiries in Hamburg. His interest in our project, 
his industry in following every lead that might be rewarding 
for our research, and his tact in persuading the families of 
the Frauenchor members to share their treasures with us far 
exceeded our expectations. 

His first success was the acquisition of Franz iska and 
Camilla Meier's books that were then in the possession of 
Anna Lentz, Franz iska 's daughter. When my husband went to 
Hamburg in 1935, Dr. Albrecht introduced him to Anna. She 
interpreted for him the sketches drawn by her mother and 
gave us Franziska's diary as edited in the J ahrhuch der 
Gesellschaft Hamburger Kunst freunde , 1902. A copy of the 
Jahrhuch is in my possession. Later, she copied out other 
unpublished extracts referring to the Frauenchor . 

The version of the Diary which follows here, pp. 24-41, 
is the result first of translating the extracts published in 
the Jahrhuch der Gesellschaft Hamburger Kunst freunde , 1902, 
and the additional extracts copied out by Anna Lentz in 1935, 
and second by piecing the two together as they must have 
been in the original. Franziska often wrote incomplete 
sentences which, in the translation, have been made grammatical 
to simplify reading. She frequently refers to matters about 
which there is no other information. But wherever possible, 
explanations of puzzling references have been inserted be- 
tween the passages quoted from the Diary. 

. 4 - 

We kept up a correspondence with Anna until her death 
in 1939 and will always remember the kind old lady who used 
the money we paid for the St imwenhe fte to buy her nephew a 
good violin. 

We were particularly pleased when Dr. Albrecht dis- 
covered Friedchen Wagner's son, Kurt Sauermann, the owner of 
a small bookstore in Hamburg. Kurt had a trunkful of his 
mother's papers in his attic. He was willing to sell us her 
Stimmenhefte and a charming photograph. He wrote us some of 
his own recollections of Brahms and sent us a copy of his 
mother's memoirs, in so far as they referred to the women's 
chorus and to her friendship with Brahms. Kurt Sauermann is 
now dead and his family possessions were destroyed during 
the Second World War. But from the papers of the Sauermanns 
which are here, the real origin of the Hamburger Frauenchor 
can be understood. 

The following year, Dr. Albrecht went to Bonn to inter- 
view Frau Clara von Konigslow, the daughter-in-law of Betty 
Volckers. Being unwilling to sell the St immenhefte in her 
possession outside of Germany, the family kindly allowed 
photostats to be made of them for us. Frau von Konigslow 
gave Dr. Albrecht a picture of the old Volckers house in 
Hamburg where the Frauenchor often met and also several 
photographs of the singers. (See pp. 69 and 44). In June 
1951, I wrote to Frau von Konigslow to ask her again to let 
us have the Stimmenhefte containing the Brahms' manuscripts. 
The answer was that her books and papers had all been de- 
stroyed by floods of water in the basement during the war. 
This unfortunate fact, however, obviously enhances the value 
of our photostats. 

The Stimmenhefte were known to Kalbeck, Hiibbe, Florence 
May, and probably to the other biographers. Kalbeck and 
Hiibbe inspected them and both did some classification of the 

- 5 - 

contents. But even Hiibbe's list is not complete. The books 
we have contain more music than he mentions. And since they 
correspond to each other down to the smallest detail, the 
authenticity of the music written in them is unquestionable. 
From the different volumes, the vocal parts of most of the 
unpublished compositions can be reconstructed. Other books, 
not yet located, or permanently lost, must have had the voice 
parts of the Psalm, Op. 27, and five of the Marienlieder , 
known from diaries and letters to have been sung by the 
Hamburger Frauenchor . 

From the time the chorus disbanded in 1863, the 
Stimmenhefte remained in private hands. At present, they 
are in our library at Merion, Pennsylvania. Eventually, they 
will go to the Smith College Library at Northampton, Massa- 
chusetts, with the entire correspondence between us and our 
German friends. 

As far as the other women's choruses are concerned, the 
information about Gottingen is in E. Michelmann's book Agathe 
von Siebold. About Vienna, no account of women's activities 
in choral singing that I know of exists. For the details of 
my knowledge, I am indebted to Karl Geiringer who, during 
the years 1937 and 1938, kindly wrote me voluminous letters 
in answer to my queries. The correspondence with him opened 
my eyes to the apparently unappreciated extent to which 
women's choruses functioned in the musical life of Germany 
up to the time of the First World War. Familiarity with this 
particular aspect of women's participation in music gave me 
a new perspective on Brahms' association with women' s choruses 
and helped me to integrate the accounts of the Hamburger 
Frauenchor and the von Asten's chorus with the other events 
in his career. 

- 6 - 

The published material which I have drawn upon is as 

J. Brahms, Briefwechsel (Berlin: Deutsche Brahms Gesellschaft, 
1907-22). 16 Vols. 

H. S. Drinker, Texts of the Vocal Works of Johannes Brahms 
in English Translation, 1945. (Apply to Association of 
American Choruses, c/o Westminster Choir College, 
Princeton , N.J.) 

Sophie Drinker, "Brahms' Music for Women", Music Clubs 
Magazine, Nov. -Dec. 1939 and Jan. 1940. 

Music and Women (New York: Coward-McCann, Inc., 1948.) 

A. von Ehrmann, Johannes Brahms: Thematisches Verzeichniss 
Seiner Werk (Leipsig: Breitkopf und Hartel, 1933.) 

M. Friedlander, Brahms' Lieder (London: Oxford University 
Press, 1928) 

K. Geiringer, Brahms, His Life and Work, 2nd Edition (New 
York: Oxford University Press, 1947) 

"Johannes Brahms im Briefwechsel mit E. Mandyczewski", 
Zeitschrift fur Musikwissenschaft, 1933. 

W. Hiibbe, Brahms in Hamburg (Hamburg: Gesellschaft Ham- 
burgischer Kunstfreunde , 1902) 

M. Kalbeck, Johannes Brahms (Berlin: Deutsche Brahms Gesell- 
schaft, 1904-14) 

A. Kretschmer and W. von A. Zuccalmaglio, Deutsche Volkslieder 

mit ihren Original Weisen, 2 Vols. (Berlin, 1840) 

B. Litzmann, Clara Schumann , An Artist's Life (London: 

Macmillan and Co., 1913) 2 Vols. 

Letters of Clara Schumann and Johannes Brahms (London: 
Edward Arnold, 1927) 

Florence May, Johannes Brahms (London: Edward Arnold, 1905) 

Franziska Meier, "Diary", Jahrbuch der Gesel Ischaft Ham- 
burger Kunstfreunde (Hamburg, 1902) 

E. Michelmann, Agathe von Siebold (Stuttgart und Berlin: 
J. G. Cotta'sche Buchhandlung Nachfolger, 1930) 

W. Niemann, Brahms (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1929, trans- 
lated by Catherine A. Phillip) 

G. Ophuls, Brahms' Texte (Berlin: N. Simrock, 1898) 

Susanne Schmaltz, Begluckte Errinerungen (Germany) Extracts 
sent by Kurt Sauermann 

- 7 - 

I am indebted to these publishers for their permission 
to quote passages from biographies of Brahms: 

Oxford University Press, Brahms' Lieder by M. Friedlander. 

The Macmillan Company, Clara Schumann by B. Litzmann. 

Edward Arnold and Co. , Letters of Clara Schumann & Johannes 
Brahms, compiled by B. Litzmann. 

William Reeves (new edition), Johannes Brahms by Florence May. 

Alfred A. Knopf, Brahms, by W. Niemann. 

But especially my hearty thanks are due to both Karl 
and Irene Geiringer for their friendly encouragement and 
their invaluable suggestions on the final draft of "Brahms 
and His Women's Choruses". 

Merion, Pa. 

8 - 


"Friedchen Wagner is the principal founHer of my Verein here 
and we sing at her house ..." 

So Brahms wrote to tell Clara Schumann that " his favorite 
pupil" was going with her father to Wildbad, where Clara was 
taking the cure. 

In this same letter, dated July 3, 1859, Brahms went on 

to say: 

"You have already met hef here (Hamburg) and, if you fee] the 
least inclination to do so, you ought to see her there. She 
is an exceedingly charming, modest, and musical girl and 
ought to please you ..." 

Brahms himself had been pleased with Friedchen since 

1855. At that time, he was twenty-two years old. She was 

twenty, small and not pretty, but full of fire and high 

spirits. Her passionate temperament found an outlet in music 

and endeared her to Clara as well as to Brahms. Her piano 

playing also delighted Brahms, who remarked upon her ability 

in the same letter: 

"Incidentally, she plays quite well and can do all kinds of 
things with her little fingers." 

In 1855, Friedchen was taking piano lessons from her 

cousin G. D. Otten. One evening, at his house on the Linden- 

strasse in Hamburg, while she was playing duets with him she 

met Brahms. 

"I saw Brahms for the first time one evening at Otten' s, just 
as I was playing Schubert's Divertissements for four hands 
with him. When Brahms appeared in the doorway, I wanted to 
stop playing but Otten wished us to play the piece to the 
end which proved very profitable for me, since Brahms im- 

- 9 - 


Friedchen Wagner, 1831-1917; married Kurt Sauerman 

in 1869. When this photograph was taken in 1865, 

she was thirty-four years old. 

mediately said that he himself wanted to play it over again 
with me. 

"After supper he offered to take me home. On the way, T 
asked him to give me lessons twice a week. So the instruction 
began. I had been technically prepared by my dear Mr. Ave. 
It was thanks to his efforts that Brahms took such kind 
interest in my playing from the very beginning, a fact which 
he later expressed in a letter to Frau Schumann when she was 
in Wildbad. 

"My instruction continued with a short interruption while 
Brahms was in Detmold. Brahms often played with me (Mozart 
and Handel) and through him, I became acquainted with Bach 
(We 11 -Tempered Clavier). Through his excellent fingering, I 
mastered the technical difficulties relatively easily. Later, 
he often played his compositions with me (for four hands). 
Frau Schumann, who also came to my parents' , visited Brahms 
frequently. While my piano was being repaired at He ins' in 
the Pferdemarkt, I had my lessons in Heins' piano store at 
5 o'clock in the afternoon. After the lesson, Brahms gave 
me the pleasure of playing for me. We often played Bach's 
Concerto for three pianos; his brother Fritz participating. 
Once, however, I played at Heins' with Brahms and Clara 
Schumann. It was at Brahms' suggestion. I was nervous and 
lost my place. Frau Schumann encouraged me. We were able 
to continue and it went off all right. Frau Schumann said 
that such a thing could happen to anybody. In playing the 
third piano in Bach's Concerto, I had to count twenty-three 
bars rest! " 

Friedchen's family belonged to the upper middle class. 
As a group, these people were both industrious and prosperous, 
spending much of their leisure time in cultivating the arts. 
They sang part songs and played instruments at home. They 
founded choral societies by the score. Their familiarity 
with musical terms and idioms enabled them to appreciate the 
skill of professional performers and to understand con- 
temporary composition. With their informal music and public 
concerts, they made Germany the Mecca of musicians the world 

Friedchen lived with her parents and her two sisters, 
Thusnelda and Olga, on Pastorenstrasse. Brahms was a frequent 

- 10 - 

visitor at the Wagner's house. Besides giving the musically 
intelligent girl her piano lessons, he played for her and, 
above all, talked with her. 

At that time Brahms was steeping himself in the rich 
treasures of German folksong, sharing with other scholars a 
vivid interest in the old songs, as well as in those of 
contemporary origin. At the same time, informal singing by 
truly musical people was an entertainment that had no com- 
petition with mechanically made music. It was so popular a 
game that it challenged the attention of those with a talent 
for invention. Brahms had already dedicated a set of songs 
to the Schumann children and was busy making piano accompani- 
ments to others. And his interest was more than a youthful 
enthusiasm for he never lost sight of the musical value of 
the folksong nor of the social value of home singing. At the 
end of his life, he compiled a volume of 49 Folksongs and 
composed such inimitable piano accompaniments to them that 
no one could doubt his respect for the original material. 

In Friedchen's Memoirs, she reported her reaction to 

her conversations with Brahms about his favorite folksongs: 

"While I was taking lessons from Brahms, I asked hira one 
morning -- since my two sisters and I often sang together — 
to compose folksongs for that purpose, which he was very 
willing to do. " 

Friedchen gives no date but Hiibbe attributes her request 
to the summer and autumn of 1856. 

The songs that Brahms first offered the girls may have 
been some of the 28 Deutsche Volkslieder for solo with piano 
accompaniment. He was working on this set between 1854 and 
1858. Those arranged for three women's voices from this set 

Der Bucklichte Fiedler (Es wohnet ein Fiedler) 
Trennung (Da unten im Tale) 

- 11 - 

Gang zur Liebsten (Des Abends kann ich nicht schlafen 

Der Zimmergesell (Es war einmal) 

Drei Voglein (Mit Lust that ich ausreiten) 


Der Todte Gast (Es pocket ein Knabe) 

Altes Minnelied (Ich fahr dahin) 

Die Versuchung ( Feins liebchen, du so list) 

Die Wo 1 lust in den Mai en 

Friedchen continued the story in her Memoirs but still 

without a definite date: 

"After a short time, several young ladies came to take part 
in the singing and thus gradually a women's chorus was formed 
in my parents ' house . " 

The authentic account of the beginning of the Hamburger 
Frauenchor thus occurs in two sources which correspond: 
Brahms' letter of July 3, 1859, to Clara Schumann and 
Friedchen Wagner's Memoirs. At first, Friedchen sang folk- 
songs arranged by Brahms with Thusnelda and Olga. Then, she 
invited other young women ... probably one or two at a time, 
possibly different ones on different evenings . . . until 
circumstances drew many more music lovers into the original 
intimate group. 

- 12 - 

Johannes Brahms, as he looked at the 

time of the founding of the 

Hamburger Frauenchor. 




During the late 50s, Brahms did not stay in Hamburg all 
the time but travelled around Germany on business or pleasure. 

In June, 1858, he was invited by his friend, Julius 

Otto Grimm, the popular founder and leader of the Cacilia 

Verein in Gottingen, to come there for the summer. Grimm 

well knew what appeal to make. Clara Schumann would be 

there. Brahms would find an organ to play on and, best of 

all, singing. 

"If it would please you to have a few good voices, lodged in 
very lovely girls, sing for you, they will take pleasure in 
being at your disposal. Come now quickly!" ^ 

Brahms decided to accept the invitation and found that 
Gottingen offered more than he had anticipated. One of the 
lovely girls in Gottingen was Philippine, Grimm's wife, nick- 
named Pine Gur, on account of the gutteral way she pronounced 
the letter R. Daughter of the piano manufacturer Ritm'iiller, 
she was a brilliant pianist herself as well as a good choral 
singer. Another singer was Agathe von Siebold, with whom 
Brahms fell in love, and she with him. All summer long, they 
sang and played together. 

Brahms' songs in Op. 14 and Op. 19 belong to this period, 
inspired by Agathe and her beautiful soprano voice. The 
duets of Op. 20, Nos. 1 and 2, composed in September, 1858, 
were sung by Agathe and her friend Bertha Wagner, whose 
wonderfully rich alto voice also delighted Brahms. 

Philippine, Agathe, Bertha, and other young women be- 
longed to the Cacilia Verein, Grimm's chorus of ninety 

- 13 - 

members. They also sang in a women's chorus. For both 
groups, Grimm wrote music. He loved to compose and, in his 
day, it was quite customary for conductors to perform their 
own compositions. His style was post-Mendelssohnian and, 
although he was a most prolific composer, none of his music 
has survived on modern programmes. His devoted women friends, 
however, no doubt sang it with zest, especially a set of old 
Low German poems, called by Grimm, Ein Liederkranz . 

When Brahms arrived, these choruses were in full swing. 
Fresh from his Hamburg circle of girls, he looked with 
interest upon those of Gottingen. His musical ingenuity was 
challenged and he was eager to experiment with women's 
voices. One composition was a Benedictus from a Mass upon 
which he had been working in 1856. Unfortunately for the 
choral literature of women, he did not finish the Benedictus . 
Its canon was used later in the Motet Op. 74; Warum ist das 
Licht . 

Another trial composition was a Brautgesang (Bridal 
Song) for soprano solo and women's chorus. The words are 

Das Haus benedei'ich and preis es laut . 

"1 bless the house that has received a beautiful bride and 

praise it. Into a garden it must blossom." 

For some unknown reason, the Brautgesang missed fire. 
It was evidently basically inferior, pronounced so by his 
two friends, Clara and Grimm. 

Clara expressed her disapproval: 

"I like certain parts of the Brautgesang very much -- the 
last bar on p. 15 is wonderful. But it has struck me that 
here and there the motifs are a little bit commonplace -- I 
should have thought of Hi Her, or some other musician, and 
not of you -- Forgive me, I dare say what I have said is 
silly, but every time I played the piece through, I felt 
this more and more . " 

-14 - 

And in writing after Brahms had left for Detmold, Grimm 
was at first non-committal: 

"I could not send the Brautgesang back yesterday because I 
only received it this afternoon. I had to read it through 
and play it to the ladies Gathe and Gur. That has been done 
and they think it is glorious, delightful, refreshing, and 
so on. I, too. But the two songs of Uhland's, Op. 19, Nos. 
2 and 3, (Scheiden und Meiden; In der Feme) have so moved 
me that, at the moment, there is no place left for the 
Brautgesang. Both words and music in those songs are too 
moving to allow me to enter the blessed house in a congenial 
mood. Iwill be glad when Gathe can sing them properly ..." 

Another letter is more forceful: 

"Your Brautgesang did not please me so much (as the 
Grahgesang) . I am not being silent about anything. I will 
not presume hastily and impudently to approach it." 

Brahms answered from Detmold: 

"Thank you for your criticisms ... The Braut lied is dis- 
gracefully ordinary and dull. The poem could be beautifully 
composed. As it is, a poor composer sits sadly and alone in 
his room and conjures up thoughts which are none of his 
business. And a critic sets himself between two beautiful 
ladies ... I don't want to picture it any further!" 

Brahms could not have been entirely convinced that the 
Braut lied was "disgracefully ordinary and dull" or he would 
not have allowed the voice parts to be copied out later into 
the St immenhefte of the Hamburger Frauenchor . Although no 
mention of its performance or even of its practice is made 
in the diaries or letters at hand, the Braut lied must have 
been sung in Hamburg between 1859 and 1862. But Brahms 
eventually abandoned it as a choral composition for women's 
voices and used the melody in his magnificent song von Ewiger 
Liebe. (See p. 70) 

In spite of the failure of the Brautgesang, the ex- 
perience at Gbttingen deepened Brahms* perception of the 
potentialities of a women's chorus. While there, he came in 
contact with a large and well-trained group of women. He 

- 15 - 

immediately conceived original compositions for them, com- 
positions which were in a different musical category from the 
simple folksongs he had set for the Hamburg girls. 

His next attempt had a happier fate. The Ave Maria, 
Op. 12, was a success from its conception at Gb'ttingen in 
September, 1858. The text is the liturgical invocation to 
the Virgin Mary. 

Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus te cum, benedicta tu in 
mulier ibus , et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Jesus. 
Sancta Maria! Ora pro nobis! 

Brahms broke many precedents by clothing these words in 
a romantic idiom and by offering the composition to a choir 
of laywomen. His inspiration to do so may have come partly 
from the sight of wayside shrines with peasant women kneeling 
and offering flowers to the Virgin. But it was certainly 
the spirit of Agathe herself, a Catholic with an under- 
standing of the religious text, that ultimately kindled his 

The original version had an organ accompaniment, as if 
it were intended for church use by a women's choir. Whether 
the Gbttingen girls sang it before Brahms left for Detmold 
at the end of September 1858 is at present unknown, but might 
be disclosed in forgotten letters or diaries of members of 
the chorus. (Appendix F) 

Although Grimm's chorus was in no sense under Brahms' 
leadership, it must be included in any account of his 
association with a women's chorus since it provided him with 
the incentive that started his serious work for soprano and 
alto voices. 

In Detmold, where he conducted the choral society at 
the castle, he lost no time in giving his new Ave Maria 
publicity in the court circle. He asked the Princess 

- 16 - 

Frederica and the other women members of the Schloss-Chor to 
sing his compositions for women's voices, offering them both 
the three-part folksongs and the Ave Maria. Then, encouraged 
by their enthusiasm, he carried the manuscript with him to 
Hamburg when he returned home at the end of January, 1859. 

- 17 - 

Joachim conducting the Brahms Serenade, 

op. 11, March 26, 1859. 

Sketch by Franziska Meier. 

Brahms conducting his 2nd Serenade^ 

op. 16, March 28, 1860. 

Sketch by Franziska Meier. 

It is interesting that Brahms appears here 

with spectacles on, since the fact that he 

wore them has not been remarked by others. 



Like most German cities, Hamburg supported several 
choruses. One of them was the Hamburg Akademie, directed by 
Karl Gradener. According to the custom of the times, the 
women members often sang without the men, especially to per- 
form music composed by Gradener himself. 

One day, in April, 1859, Gradener inquired whether the 
chorus would like to sing a composition by Brahms. "Fraulein 
Gobbin and the whole alto section rose in assent", wrote 
Franziska Meier in her diary. 

The enthusiastic response suggests that these young 
women already knew Brahms or had heard favorably of him. 
Probably most of them had attended the concert in March when 
the Serenade, Op. 11, was played, Joachim conducting. 
Franziska was there and recorded the sentiments of at least 
some of the concert-going public. Her diary of March is 
filled with details of how she and her friends haunted Wormer's 
Hall for the rehearsals and the performance of the Serenade. 
After the concert, her excitement was intense and compelled 
her to make pen and ink drawings of the musicians. The 
following entry refers to this memorable event: 

"March 29. I spent an almost sleepless night during which I 
wrote in my diary, made poetry and drew sketches of Joachim 
and Brahms. " 

Although somewhat crudely executed, these sketches are 

authentic and genuine impressions of the two artists. 

Some of the members of Gradener* s chorus probably knew 
Friedchen and might have been accustomed to sing with the 

- 18 - 

Karl Gradener, conductor of the Hamburg Akademie, 

an institution which existed from 1851 to 1867. 

He composed for the women members 

of that chorus. 

Wagner sisters. It seems practically certain that the girls 
were singing the three-part folksongs arranged for them by 
Brahms during the spring of 1859. Brahms was in Hamburg then; 
Friedchen was studying piano with him. And above all, it was 
to Friedchen that Brahms turned for advice when an oppor- 
tunity arose for him to hear his Ave Maria again. 

One of Gradener's pupils, Jenny von Ahsen, was married 
on May 19 in St. Michael's Church. Brahms played the organ 
at the wedding and Gradener conducted his girl choir in the 
singing of a motet he had composed for the occasion. The 
text was taken from the Bible; Psalm 127: 

"Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain who 
build it." 

It was set for four parts and the fourth voice had the cantus 
firmus, which was the old melody so often used by Bach, the 
famous Morgenstern Chorale (Wie schbn leuchtet der M or gens tern). 
Although Gradener's composition has disappeared from the 
catalogues, it was well received at the time and was per- 
formed later by Brahms in a church concert. (See p. 40) 

Brahms was so favorably impressed with the singing and 
with the general effect of the women's voices in the church 
that he immediately conceived the idea of creating an oc- 
casion for the performance of his own Ave Maria and of com- 
posing more music to religious texts for women's voices. 
Since he was engrossed at the time in studying Palestrina 
and other masters of the a cape 11a school, he wrote two four 
part motets in the 16th century style. The first was Bone 
Jesu and the second, Adoramus . These were later published 
as Nos. 1 and 2 of Op. 37. 

Brahms apparently appealed to Friedchen for help in 
organizing a group to sing his music. She responded by in- 
viting a number of singers to her house. Among them, un- 

- 19 - 

doubtedly, were her own friends and Gradener's chorus of the 
girls who had performed at the wedding. 

On Monday, June 6, twenty-eight volunteers turned up at 
the Wagner's house. Brahms conducted them in singing. A 
lady, whose name Hiibbe does not give, told him that they sang 
"a quite beautiful Ave Maria to which Ave listened with open 
mouth and was filled with rapture." 

Bone Jesu and Adoramus were also practiced. These 
seemed to the lady who was Hubbe's informant very difficult 
and not so pleasing. Gradener, too, was at the rehearsal and 
evidently helped Brahms through a fit of embarrassment which 
seized him as he confronted the new group. The next morning, 
however, the programme was repeated. On June 8 the chorus 
went to St. Peter's Church and sang the Ave Maria and the 
two motets there. 

Encouraged by the enthusiasm of the chorus and eager to 
make the most of the opportunity for composition, Brahms 
asked the young women to sing with him once a week. Two of 
the singers were Marie and Betty Volckers. Many years later, 
Marie told Kalbeck: 

"My elder sister Betty belonged to a singing society and, as 
so often happened, several ladies of the chorus were asked 
to sing at a wedding in the church; it was under the direction 
of Gradener. Brahms played the organ and, after the ceremony, 
he asked the ladies if they would like to sing some songs 
comnosed by him. The proposal was accepted with enthusiasm 
and regular rehearsals were arranged in the mornings. From 
that originated the Frauenchor ." 

Either Marie had not been intimate with the Wagners or, 
if she had sung informally of an evening with the three 
sisters, she did not regard a small group of girls singing 
part songs for fun as a Frauenchor . After the wedding, 
Brahms made a definite engagement to be present at meetings 
himself, promising not only to conduct but to supply the 

- 20 - 

chorus with compositions that could be performed before an 
audience. He even invented a motto for them. FIX ODER NIX, 
Up to the Mark or Nothing. The formal organization of the 
Frauenchor took place then. 

On June 20, Brahms brought a novelty for the chorus . . . 
two Marienlieder . These are songs in which the Virgin Mary 
is heroine in all kinds of imaginary adventures. German 
literature is full of them, a great many poets eind musicians 
having contributed to their making. Before 1858, Brahms 
himself harmonized one, Der englische Grass, which appears 
now as No. 8 of the 28 Deutsche Volkslieder for One Voice and 
Piano Accompaniment. It is the angel's greeting to Mary, the 
Annunciation. But the composition he offered the women's 
chorus was original, his own melody. 

Brahms* appreciation that this type of song would be 
attractive material for a women's chorus resulted in the 
composition of six Marienlieder for two soprano and two alto 
voices. When writing later to the publisher Simrock, he ex- 
plained how he used the folkpoems but made his own music: 

"The poems are all beautiful folksongs and the music somewhat 
in the manner of the old church music and folksong." 

The two that he brought to the rehearsal on June 20 were 
Der englische Gruss and Maria* s Kirchgang. The second of 
these is in Franziska Lentz' book, Versammlung 3, written a 
whole tone higher throughout than Brahms' published edition 
of the Marienlieder for mixed voices. Op. 22. It is the only 
one that appears in the Stimmenhefte . 

When Mary once to church would go 
She fain would cross a deep, wide sea. 
And as she reached the waters' flow 
A boatman there she chanced to see. 
"Oh boatman safely ferry thou me, 
What e'er thou ask I'll give to thee." 
" I' 11 bear thee safely over the sea, 
If thou wilt come and marry me." 

- 21 - 


a^^^^X' J 



M J73 il J ,J ^ ^ 



i'rS'W J 




r T I- C r 


««*5«— ' 



a-rt^ cto'^iy' i^ee^ 

n-t^n- ^ir 


r |3 - ^ '^ '-J^ 













•3 -fl^ .^ 

n ■^J'V J 





Lj.^ r '. i^r? f J 


>«( i r.rc i r . ir.i - — . r-w irmi - - . i r ■ T i l >_y 

■> /f ^ — /tU.,.^ ^,^^..*£^^^ ' Syj^ j^u-r^/Pty tptaua t^^tjt*,^^ 

fitrttytf ftVA 

w h' ^* r Cj* 

6 ^ 

t.4ytrfLS' i*<- cCe^ 



d >J-n^ -n 



jj;iJj]|j ,^,rj.-|^7;s 

rv ^> n 



^' i^r ci-ir c^f : 


■laU^^-U^ A£e4*t -^^^^ 

fa-e^ ■'{Jc- - S#i- tt^trny 


- ^c.^c£e*.c^ , 


J- j^j'j!^ ■''rj^*'" j^'^ 


/ 1 .^/rr^ti^ 

■fl ^ -r ]*" -r -«- -ff 

^ P ;^^i 

kJ^ J^ ^ r 


v^' I r . 

^ ..^ -T-*-'— 

■^i.-: nj 





■^ L — 





^-e^ - pt-e^n 


'ik-r^ elt.*t*^ 7oL^Mt*M!L^ ^t,r<k^ -a«/r«. c?fe^. ^*tA-^\.-tA>-*^^< 

Marienlied, No. 2, in the original key as composed for the 

Hamburger Frauenchor. From Franziska Lentz' Stimmenheft, 

marked V'^rsammlung No. 3. 

"Before I deign to marry thee, 

I'll swim alone across the sea." 

Now as she neared the other side, 

All the church bells ringing out far and wide, 

Both large and small, with one accord. 

Proclaimed the Mother of our Lxird. 

And ^^ihen the shore they did regain. 

The boat -man's heart was broke in twain. 

In the musical treatment of this poem, Brahms gave the 
melody to the first altos and, where the text refers to the 
church bells, he had the voices reproduce the sound of bells 
ringing by repeating over and over the intervals of fourths 
and fifths. (See Appendix D; 

Unfortunately, the Stimmenhefte containing the other 

Marienlieder later sung by the Frauenchor are still missing. 

But in several of the books is one by Johann Eccard, a 16th 

century composer. 

Uber's Gebirge Maria geht 
Over the mountain goes Mary 

This had previously been copied out by Brahms into his 1854 

notebook. At some point in the Frauenchor' s history, Brahms 

transposed it from the setting for S. S. A. T. B. up a major 

third to arrange it comfortably for the range of S. S. A. A. 

A. (See Appendix D) 

The young women's enthusiasm for the choral singing was 
equalled by that of Brahms. He mentioned the chorus to three 
friends with whom he corresponded during the summer. In 
answer to one of his letters, Clara Schumann wrote: 

"How delightful about your Gesangverein. I hope you have a 
large number of charming girls in it. But don't you include 
men as well? I should think you would soon find women's 
singing alone monotonous. I should like to hear your songs. 
How did you like the songs which you tried with the organ on 
June 9? Aren't they very difficult? Did your girls sing 
them well?" ^ 

But Brahms did not find women's voices monotonous. Nor 

- 22 - 

Theodor Ave-Lallement, a music teacher and 

member of the committee for the Philharmonic 

concerts. He and Brahms were 

intimate friends. 

did Ave andGradener, who both attended most of the rehearsals. 

In August, Brahms alluded to the Frauenchor again when 

writing to Joachim: 

"A little singing society (ladies only) detains me. Other- 
wise, I would have been on the Rhine or in some beautiful 
forest." 1° 

And a little later, he offered Fraulein von Meysenbug, 
one of the singers in the castle chorus at Detmold, two ex- 
planations of his interest in the women's voices: 

" I am here and shall probably remain until I go to Detmold. 
Some very pleasant pupils detain me and, strangely enough, a 
ladies' society that sings under my direction, till now only 
what I compose for it. The clear, silver tones please me 
exceedingly and, in the church with the organ, the ladies' 
voices sound quite charming." 

- 23 - 

Franziska Meier in 1861 


Franziska Meier was twenty-three years old in the summer 
o£ 1859. She came from the same type of upper middleclass 
family as Friedchen Wagner. Her mother, Frau Senatorin Meier, 
served as a member of the committee of Grund's Academy, a 
concert-giving institution. Her sister Camilla, aged twenty- 
one, played the piano and sang in the mixed chorus of the 
Cacilia Verein, conducted by Dr. Spengel. 

Franziska herself was a girl with a talent for sketching, 
making poetry and music. (See illustrations, p. 79) She 
studied both voice and piano and attended concerts enthu- 
siastically. Her special companions were her sister Camilla 
and Susanne Schmaltz. They called themselves "The Three 
Crows". (See p. 79) From Susanne *s book, BeglUckte 
Erinnerungen, and from entries in Franziska* s diary of March 
and April, 1859, the girls* sentimental adoration of Joachim 
and Brahms as musical heroes is revealed. (See Chap. TV) In 
view of this, it is surprising that neither the two sisters, 
Franziska and Camilla Meier, nor Susanne Schmaltz had joined 
the Frauenchor before August 1, 1859. 

On Monday, August 1, Franziska wrote in her diary: 

"A new life is now to begin; new horizons are opening up 
before me. Finally we have succeeded, after having always 
' forged energetically ahead' . " 

The words immer rustig vorwarts were used by Joachim to in- 
spire his orchestra to greater efforts. They were adopted 
by "The Three Crows'* as their motto eind signet seal. 

- 24 - 

Af ter " the new life begins", Franziska continued writing 
on August 1: 

"At 9 o'clock Tilla Sthamer called for me; ten minutes after 
9, we were at Fraulein Gliihr's on the Holzdamm. Tilla 
introduced me to Fraulein Gliihr, then to Olga Wagner. She 
was supposed to introduce me to Brahms, but she neglected to 
do it, so I turned to Mme. Gradener (who acted as chaperone 
to the young girls). She was very friendly, as always. She 
took me to Brahms and said: 'Fraulein Meier does not know 
whether she is to sing first or second soprano?' Brahms 
looked at me in an examining manner, as though he could tell 
that by my face. He said, 'Could you possibly sing first 
alto?' The question surprised me and I did not answer im- 
mediately. Then he said quickly: 'Well, then, sing second 
soprano' . 

"We sang Psalm 23 by Schubert and The Serenade Zbgernd leise 
(Through the Darkness) by Schubert. We practiced hard; then, 
in the intermission, Brahms talked only to Fraulein Wiechern. 
I spoke to Mme. Gradener and later to Tilla, who is very 
unsure of herself. 

"Brahms is pleased that his little flock is growing, . . He is 
very precise at practice. No one looked at him. I believe 
I was the only one. At first, it was hard for me to follow, 
then later, it came very easily. 

"At 11:15 Brahms announced that if anybody wished to take the 
music home she should say so. I asked for one part. Brahms 
asked me whether it had been hard for me to follow. I 

'In the beginning, very.' 

"Then he said: 

'Ladies, next Monday, be here at five minutes before 9, 
at the latest.' 

"In the meantime, my friend Susanne Schmaltz had seen Mme. 
Gradener and asked her if she might take part in the singing. 
She received a very friendly answer that she might. " 

"Monday, August 8 at the Wagner's. I wrote in my diary. 
Shortly after 8:30, Tilla Sthamer called for me to go to the 
Frauenchor. She scolded me terribly for not having spoken 
to Fraulein Wagner about Susanne Schmaltz. I remained very 
calm and told her that Susanne had spoken to Mme. Gradener 

- 25 - 

herself and that that ought to be enough. At the door we 
met Mme. Gradener and Susanne Schmaltz. Susanne's heart was 
probably beating even faster than mine. Upstairs, I intro- 
duced her to Til la, Fraulein Gliihr, and the three Wagners. 
They were all very friendly. Toward 9, Gradener arrived, 
greeted us and was just about to start when Brahms came. We 
waited a little, while he amused himself. Then Ave came in 
and greeted me with a deep bow. Brahms and Gradener still 
had much to talktoeach other about. Finally, at ten minutes 
after 9, we began: Psalm 23 by Schubert first with, then 
without, the accompaniment. Papa Ave was quite thrilled. 
Now came the main thing; two Marienlieder --Der Jdger (The 
Hunter No. 4) and Ruf zu Maria (Prayer to Mary No. 5)." 

These were new ones, not 1 and 2 which had already been 

tried in June. 

"Brahms said: 'The Hunter is always the first' . We prac- 
ticed hard. The Hunter was difficult. At every criticism, 
Brahms looked straight at the two of us. We were furious. 
But he looked at us also at each word of praise, at every 
explanation, when he asked us to repeat, and when he thanked 
us. So then our anger turned to joy. If he would observe 
us, he would soon see how seriously and earnestly we take the 
whole thing. His remarks always amuse us. 'Fraulein Seebohm 
deliberately sang the wrong note!' "The altos sing too 
harshly!' 'Please, a little bass pedal!' Susanne and I went 
away together. She turned around to say goodbye to Mme. 
Gradener and to thank her. We went together to Kainer's, 
dizzy with joy. Brahms, Ave, and a lady behind us along the 
whole Alster St." 

"Monday, August 15. At a quarter past 6- -Brahm-a-ho! 

Susanne could hardly withdraw from the embrace of the Heaven- 
born Morpheus. Finally the beloved motto immer riistig 
vorwdrts --forging energetically ahead- -succeeded in arousing 

Franziska used the word "Brahm-a-ho" more than once, obviously 
as an expression of enthusiasm. 

Her allusion to Heaven-born Morpheus was a joke about 

the text of Canon No. 1 (in Op. 113). It was evidently sung 

by the Frauenchor during the first two weeks of August. 

"About a quarter to 9, Susanne and I went to the Sthamer's. 
Tilla was far frcrni ready. We ran through the Hohe Bleichen 

- 26 - 

and Diistern Street. We had hardly reached Pastoren Street 
when Brahms appeared. 

"Til la and I sat down in the center of the 2nd sopranos. We 
sang the Psalm by Schubert, two songs by Brahms, three by 
Schumann, and then 'Poor Peter' by Gradener, for six-part 
women's chorus--terrifically difficult! It went very badly. 
I admired Brahms' patience. We practiced only the first two 
parts, then in conclusion, the Psalm over again. I like 
Brahms as a conductor exceedingly. He noticed us especially, 
and so he should! Once when he looked at me for so long, I 
tried to respond to his steady glance. Suddenly, it came 
into my mind: now he is thinking of the letter! And then I 
lost courage and willpower and had to look away." 

Franziska's allusion to " the letter" is explained in 

her diary entries of March 28 and April 1: 

"I brooded over a plan I had... Jenny and Camilla have 
approved and even promoted it." 

The plan was to write Brahms a letter of congratulation 

on his Serenade Op. 11 which had just been performed with 

Joachim conducting. The Three Crows went over to the 

Fuhlentwiete, the street where Brahms lived; they bribed a 

little boy to deliver the letter. (See p. 79) The girls 

then became nervous about their boldness. 

"All day I felt as though I had corrmitted a murder. It is 
hard for me to try to fool my mother. At breakfast (a few 
days later) we confessed. Thank goodness that abyss has been 
crossed. " 

Franziska, with her facile pen, made a sketch of a little 
bird carrying a letter in its beak. Kommt ein Vo^el geflogen 
(A little bird came flying, bringing me a letter) , are the 
words of a folksong. 

(August 15 continued) 

"We practiced very hard until long past 11. When Susanne 
and I had already opened the door to go, we suddenly heard 
the piano marvellously played upstairs. We ran up again, sat 
down on two empty chairs that were standing in the doorway. 
Brahms noticed us and smiled. After the playing was over, 

- 27 - 

Brahms walked ahead with N^. Peterson. We, in high spirits, 
and as if in a dream, followed them." 

"Monday, August 22nd, at the Gliihr's. A quarter to 9... away 
to the Gliihr's! As Brahms came in, I greeted him. He re- 
turned the greeting, somewhat surprised, but in a friendly 
way. We began with 'Hansel and Gretel', always, the first 
two parts. Finally, we were a little more successful. 

"During the intermission, I spoke to IVhe. Nordheim. She was 
complaining about the text of The Hunter -- Then I hurried 
back to my place. Brahms, following my example, had taken 
the same route. He then turned directly toward me -- 'you 
did not take part when we sang with the organ in church?' I 
answered that unfortunately this was only my fourth rehearsal. 
He said: 'I think we will repeat that at the earliest oppor- 
tunity. Everybody enjoys singing with organ accompaniment 
so much.* I asked what we were to sing. Then he said: 'An 
Ave Maria that you do not know yet and a Psalm which is not 
ready yet.' 'Something of your own composition?' 'Yes, of 
mine.' "ITiat is fine. Shall we begin it next Monday?' He 
answered: 'If it is ready. I shall probably have it ready 
by then but the voice parts will have to be written out.' " 

Each girl always copied out her own part into her own 

note-book {Stimmenheft). 

"'And then we must first be through with our imgodly songs.' 
I answered: 'Oh, I like these songs very much for a change 
with the religious music' 'Why certainly, Fraulein, other- 
wise we would not sing them at all.' 'And now the building 
in St. Michael's Church, which was so disturbing at the time, 
is finished, isn't it?' He said: 'Yes, indeed, but we are 
going to sing this time in St. Peter's vi^ere it will sound 
very much better. In St. Peter's Qiurch, the sound is good. 
There one sings throughout the length of the church. Tliese 
things are easier, too, much easier than the one by Gradener.' 
'The composition by Gradener is difficult, I think, especially, 
for the alto.' He said: 'Yes, certainly the second alto has 
peculiar things to sing, notes that one is not at all accus- 
tomed to hear in succession. Quite odd intervals! difficult 
to strike!' I said that on the whole, I believed alto was 
much more difficult than second soprano. 'Altos always have 
to sing the notes which are missing.' Then he laughed: 
'Certainly, alto is always difficult. If I let the ladies 
do as they pleased, not a single one would sing alto. They 
would all sing second soprano. TTiat is the favorite part.' 

- 28 - 

'It is the most natural range. Most people don't have the 
alto notes at all. But now you have gained excellent support 
for the altos in Mme. Nordheim.' 'Yes', he said, 'I noticed 
that at once and I am very glad. She has a good voice and is 
musical. ' 

"He turned just as suddenly away and left me alone with my 
joy. I guess he simply wanted to know what kind of a person 
I am! In any case, I made the most of the moment. What will 
he think? He notices us. If he cxvly keeps up this attentive 
observation, he will at least discover our zeal. Gradener 
begged for his old Peter again. After some opposition, we 
sang parts 1 and 2, repeating the bad places. 

"Then Av6 asked for Schumann's Rosmarien, Jdger Wohlgemuth 
(Happy Hunter) and Der Wassermann (The Merman), (all Op. 91). 
He thanked us. Then, after we had nearly said good-bye, 
Friedchen asked for one by Brahms. He let us sing both. At 
the crescendo in Prayer to Mary, all of us did not think of 
the crescendo but sang softly. I, alone, shouted on and on 
jubilantly. Brahms looked at me, nodded with a smile and 
said: 'good!' I know what that means. Such a good means 
more than when Degenhardt says: 'That you play absolutely 
wonderfully. ' " 

Degenhardt was her piano teacher. 

"Monday August 29, at the Wagner's. At a quarter to 9, we 
went to the Sthamer's. Of course, Tilla was not ready. Then 
we ran to the Brahmafest. Oi Diistern Street, I was possessed 
with the idea that I must look back. I saw Brahms behind us; 
also, he noticed us and the distance between us became less 
and less. Why did that make me so nervous? We arrived at 
the door at almost the same time as Brahms. Fraulein Lucy 
Albers drove us in a cab. With her was a young lady who was 
called by some Fraulein Trier. Brahms opened the door to the 
adjoining room and let them in. Then he said to us: 'We can 
go straight in here; we ought to have some privileges.' I 
opened the door and went in. The others followed. He spoke 
only a few words to us about our seats and our parts, about 
mistakes in writing, and other difficulties. Ave was there; 
in my part, there were several mistakes. I showed them to 
him and argued with him. He asked Brahms, and the mistakes 
were corrected. Then Ave asked whether we would like to sing 
at his house, Hiihnerposten 2, next Monday. He walked around 
among the ladies aind asked every third or fourth one over and 
over again. To me , he said: 'You know where I live, Fraulein 

29 - 

Meier. I would like so much to have you come to me next 
Monday! ' 

"I look forward so much to entering into this new world of 
artists, to seeing lovely pictures, to talking again to Mme, 
Ave in memory of these happy times. So many beautiful and 
good things continually cross our path -- things with which 
one never reckoned. One must only know how to enjoy them." 

The evening before Brahms had written Clara Schumann 

about his new Psalm (Op. 21). 

"Tomorrow my girls are rehearsing a psalm which I have com- 
posed for them. I wrote it in the evening a week ago last 
Sunday and it kept me happy until midnight. If you want to 
look at the text, it is the 13th. As it has organ accom- 
paniment, we shall again sing in church -- this and my Ave 
Maria -- I have at least forty girls now." 

(August 29 continued) 

"The Psalm is wonderful, but Brahms had already so fatigued 
himself with the bewitched Liese (Gradener's Motet) which 
went very badly. It was much too hard for me, almost im- 
possible to follow. I tried very hard and was ashamed of 
myself before Brahms and everybody present and before myself. 
He noticed it possibly and let us repeat it only twice. He 
said himself that it was very difficult. Then he let us all 
sing it together. I was surprised that it went as well as it 
did. We listened as he talked to Fraulein Garben and we were 
afraid that she was going to be forced on us as a support to 
our part. But it did not come to that." 

Franz iska speaks of this Fraulein Garben who does not 
appear elsewhere in the annals of the Frauenchor . She un- 
doubtedly means Laura Garbe , one of the best singers, who 
sang soprano in a solo quartette with three other members of 
the chorus. 

"In the wonderful Psalm, we had to join the first sopranos. 
It is written for only 3 voices. It is much easier and more 
beautiful, much more natural and more original than Gradener's. 
God forgive me this sin! 

"After our poor director had worked so hard to beat these 
new things into us, he was besieged by }l\me. Peterson to play 
something for us! He has the reputation of being unaccom- 

- 30 - 

modating, proud, arrogant, and disagreeable. 0, how can one 
wrong a person like that? He played some Kreisleriana which 
I did not know and which he had not played for a long time. 
The poor man -- when he made a mistake, he blushed purple, 
made an angry face, and shook his head. Then he asked us to 
excuse his stiff fingers. They would not do what he wished 
them to do. Ave then asked for the E major Sonata but Brahms 
did not want to play it! 'No, that is too mighty for me, it 
has gone out of my fingers entirely. ' 'Then play the Sym- 
phonic Etudes!' *0, I do not know them well. Should I not 
better play the Beethoven Variations?' 'Yes, just as you 
like, but do play the Symphonic Etudes.' I found him un- 
usually accommodating. He did play us the 12 Etudes. One 
could hardly believe it -- 12 Etudes! 

"Before leaving, I asked if I might take Gradener's book 
along. 'Gradener's book? No, you may not.' 'What a pity!' 
Susanne interrupted: 'We need it so badly.' He laughed. 

"I asked if we might then take his Psalm. 'My Psalm, yes, 
you may take it along.' *0, good!' 

"Then we went away, Ave, Brahms, Susanne and I. Lucy Albers 
went with the others, always two by two. We had to wait on 
the Steinweg. Soldiers were going past. We were both em- 
barrassed. Susanne, after some protest, came to our house. 
We looked in the catalogue for the Kreisleriana and the 
Symphonic Etudes." 

"Thursday, September 1. Grund came after breakfast. I 

sang Schumann, also the one with the risque words, my voice 
being rusty. Then I told him about Brahms, unfortunately 
showed him the music. He said, 'One should not write so high. 
That is a mistake. But he is a pleasant little fellow.' I 
was a bit afraid -- now everything is all right. Grund 
practiced intervals with me, to get them exact. Tliat is very 
use f ul for me . " 

F. W. Grund was her singing teacher, a leader in the 
musical life of Hamburg. He was conductor of the Singakademie , 
founded in 1819, and of the Philharmonic Concerts, both im- 
portant institutions. At this time, he was soon to retire. 
Brahms hoped to succeed him. Grund may have been aware of 
Brahms' ambition and may have resented it, showing his annoy- 

- 31 - 

ance by speaking condescendingly of the "pleasant little 

"September 4. Visited Schmaltz. Theoldman was very humorous ; 
he said a toll-collector got 15 Thaler an hour and Brahms only 
5 Thaler. They ought to change places!" 

"Monday, September 5. We went on cur way to Ave's. He was 
friendliness personified. He shook hands with me right away 
and asked for the picture. I was happy." 

This may have been the sketch Franziska made of Brahms, 
(see p. 18) 

"He showed me one of Brahms and told me about Stockhausen 
and Von Biilow. He showed us an old Miserere for four women's 
voices by Hasse that he had found among old notes. We are 
to sing it next year! 

"We sang the Psalm by Brahms. After practicing a long time, 
we had an intermission. The piano was then rolled into the 
middle of the rocMn and GrSdener's piece was rehearsed. 'When 
my grandmother had bewitched Liese, the people wanted to 
drown her.' Susanne and I were alone in our part. There 
were six on each of the other parts. Brahms noticed us and 
treated us differently from the others. At the end of the 
period, Brahms wished his own songs sung. TTiere were two new 
ones, then the Angel's Greeting, when Mary Went to Church; 
then the Hunter and Prayer to Mary. " 

The two new Marienlieder were Magdalena (Easter Morn 
No. 6) and Maria's Lob (Praise of Mary No. 7). 

"We decided that everybody should bring 5 Silhergroschen on 
Mondays. We hope it will amount- then to about 2 Portugaleuser. " 
(A gold coin of high value at that time in Hamburg.) 

"Brahms played the Variations by Beethoven and the chromatic 
variations by Bach. Marvellous! But the piano is not as 
good as Friedchen Wagner's. One can hear the fingers 
touching the keys. I was beside myself with happiness, as if 
in a dream, I asked Brahms if we could take the bewitched 
Liese along with us. 'I don't think that would be possible.' 
*0h, the poor Liese, we need it so badly!' 'Let me ask 
Gradener about that. Come along with me! GrSdener, may the 
ladies take your voice parts home with them? They would like 

- 32 

to practice the Liese.' Mr. Gradener bowed courteously and 
gave us his kind f)ermission. Brahms gave me the book. I 
thanked him and hurried away, elated, with Susanne through 
the adjoining room, pressing her hand and his as I passed 

"Oh, how lovely this time has been. Hew much charm life has 
if one only enjoys it. And how gladly I will, as long as I 
am able to. In a week --at the Wagner's. Mother went out — 
I practiced Gradener 's and Brahms' Psalms. Then Chopin and 
Brahms and how I want to practice from now on! " 

"Friday, September 9. I heard an uncanny noise outside. 
John brought in a card: 'A gentleman is outside and asks if 
he might have his music' Johannes Brahms! I could hardly 
believe my eyes. I looked out and asked him to step inside 
for a moment. He entered the little room. I expressed my 
regrets that he had to take the trouble to come here. *0, 
that does not matter at all! Ave is also outside. You have 
the voice parts, don't you?' I asked him to come in and 
speak to my parents but he looked around the corner and said: 
'I have not a moment's time.' He hunted in the dark with me 
for the music on the piano, and then he hurried quickly away. 
But the goblets of bliss were spilled, the fair fruits 
scattered and night was darkening round about. 

"In the meantime, mother had noticed who it was and came in 
with a light. But, too late. Camilla had heard everything 
from upstairs and hurried down as fast as possible. But he 
was too quick on his feet. I, stupid thing that I was, should 
have lit a light in the beginning myself! I had not the 
patience to embroider so I wrote in my diary instead. He 
thinks so well, so kindly of us here. I don't believe he is 
angry because of my idea and my silly letter; he will never 
misunderstand it! Today, a visit with a card bent over at 
the corner. I have kept it!" 

When a caller left a visiting card bent at the corner, 
it meant that the call was for the whole family. 

"Monday, September 12, at the Wagner's. Susanne and I 

stormed in a great hurry through all the dirt. I thought for 
sure they would have started, but they had not. My first 
glance into the cloak-room assured me that no gentleman's hat 
was there. While we took off our coats, Brahms came. He is 
always so quick and also today, went in right away. When I 

- 33 - 

came in, he walked up to me: '0, Fraulein, I bothered you 
quite unnecessarily. The voice part I needed, you did not 
have.' 'Did you want your Psalm?' 'Yes indeed, I have 
changed something in the voice parts. I am sorry I gave you 
the trouble. ' 

"Could he only know how happy I was about this little visit 
and the card. Now the parts were distributed. I got a 1st 
soprano. I was looking for the right one when Brahms stepped 
up, apologized and looked with me. *0 yes, excuse me, for 
the other songs, quite right, for the other things, you must 
have your 2nd soprano.' He looked with me through all the 
books. Then we sang the Psalm. The high notes have been 
taken out. It is much more comfortable this way. How 
beautiful this psalm is, how pious and devout! He certainly 
must be a good person. While he was accompanying us, he 
looked at the picture of Schumann all time. How deeply 
attached he must have been to this fatherly friend. 

"Then we sang an Ave Maria, the first in the Brahms book, 
written with a goose-quill. It looks so attractive. This 
Ave ^klria is marvellous! Fraulein Garbe, my neighbour, was 
also completely overcome by our friend. During the inter- 
mission, I asked Friedchen for the money, 2 Silbergroschen. 
Where shall we put it? In the little drawer of the desk. 
Nobody really took care of this properly. I looked at the 
pictures. Ntne. Wagner came. She had been sick, looked pale 
and drawn, sat down on the sofa. After I had talked there 
for a while to Thusnelda about Toni and her children, Ave 
came and asked if it were not more comfortable for us this 
way. Then Brahms came up to us two and said: 'Shall we begin 
again now?' Susanne and I went immediately to our places. 
We went through the Ave Maria thoroughly -- each part 
separately -- then the Psalm, then when Mary Went to Church. 
How simple, how peculiarly touching and impressive he has 
made the sound of the chimes. Absolutely wonderful! 

"Then he thanked us again, as always. After a moment, 
Susanne asked: 'May we take the book with us?' 'Yes indeed 
you may!' 'We have not yet sung the Ave Maria in the chorus.' 
*0, you haven't sung it yet. The others have already 
practiced it. Yes, with this song, you started.' We went 
out. I put on my coat. Susanne was just about to put on her 
rubbers. It was raining hard. When we heard some marvellous 
broken chords played, Susanne threw her rubber quickly down 
and we dashed in. Suseinne found a chair. I was standing. 
Ave said it was a Sonata by Friedemann Bach. The first move- 

- 34 - 

ment reminded me of the second page of the Tartini Sonata 
but then it became completely different. Ave said after he 
was finished: 'Typically Johann Sebastian.' I entered the 
music room and stood at the table. Fraulein Gar be beckoned 
me there. 'Here is room enough.' Brahms looked at me and 
smiled. He played variations of his own composition. He 
played marvellously -- for the last time! And now, just a 
word about his compositions. I told Friedchen Wagner that I 
was now playing his Scherzo in E'' minor Op. 4, whereupon she 
said: 'All out of gratitude?' And I told her that I had 
played it even last spring after I had heard the Serenade. 
She thought that very touching. She should know how much 
this little man has occupied our thoughts since then. 
Brahma-ho! How often his name has been on our lips, how 
often his melodies sung. Serenade! Susanne and I, quite 
intoxicated, hurried through the dirty Fuhlentwiete after the 
Dioscuri -- Ave and Brahms — They vanished. Who can tell 
me where to?" 

"Thursday, September 15 at the Wagner's. Brahms was already 
there. We greeted each other like old friends. Quite a few 
were absent to-day. Brahms approached me and gave me the 
second part and although we sang the first, I was happy about 
it. Then we sang the Psalm by Brahms. *Now it goes very 
well, much better!' Then Ave Maria. 'Be careful in the 
second soprano. Very good!' We were blissful! Then in the 
intermission, Friedchen produced the money. But he would 
not accept the money at all. He said, the rehearsals had 
given him so much pleasure that the money would spoil the 
whole fun for him. If only he really comes back. Friedchen 
is afraid that he will get a steady position somewhere. And 
yet, we ought to rejoice in that case. Then we sang Gradener's 
Wedding Motet: 

'Except the Lord build the house.' 

"Brahms assigned us two to a second soprano part. Then he let 
the third voice be sung by itself. Then he came to me and 
asked if I wished to join in singing the chorale. I was 
afraid to and I asked Susanne. She hesitated too. Brahms 
looked annoyed and said: 'Well, then we will first sing it 
through this way a couple of times.' I was very angry with 
myself on account of my stubborness, but it was too late. We 
sang it several times through and I was angry and sad that I 
had been so disobliging. Ave said: 'One cannot hear any- 
thing of the Chorale at all.' Brahms said sadly: 'I have 
just asked some of the ladies -- some of the best ones, to 

- 35 

sing it, but they do not seem to feel inclined.' After a 
while, Brahms came up to us with three of the Chorale parts 
and asked: 'Who of the ladies will be so kind as to sing 
the Qiorale?' Susanne and I were over blissful, got up as 
if obsessed eind each one shouted I. Then he was pleased and 
his face looked happy. 'New you have overcome your obstinacy. ' 
Then I said: 'Here one only needs to count. That is easier 
than to hit the note.' 'Yes, if you can count, then you can 
sing this.' It went well. We received a lot of praise today. 

"Then Brahms took leave of us: 'We shall see each other on 
Monday, to be sure, but I would rather say goodbye today. 
Thank you. On this occasion, you have helped me out in such 
a friendly way. Monday at 10, we meet in St. Peter's Qiiirch. 
If it is your wish, then we shall certainly repeat one thing 
or the other and then, I think, we shall begin again as soon 
as I return, if it gives you pleasure.'" 

Here Brahms definitely proves his pleasure. 

"0, this is marvellous. What wonderful anticipation! Then 
we went away and put our coats on slowly. I asked again if 
we were supposed to sit up near the organ. 'No, in the other 
place.' 'In the choir gallery?' 'Yes, in the choir gallery.' 
A strange feeling, a mixture of sadness and overwhelming joy 
had taken hold of me. Susanne and I got dressed while Brahms 
was talking to the two Volckers in the vestibule and they 
were trying to tell him how they had enjoyed singing \inder 
his direction. I also told him how I had always looked for- 
ward to Monday through the whole week. He bowed slightly. 
I was ashamed of this silly compliment. Then Brahms went in 
again; as we went away, he was standing at the staircase and 
I said: *I thank you for all the trouble you have taken with 
us.' 'And I thank you.' And then we went out into the rain." 

"Monday, September 19 in St. Peter's Church. At 9:30, 
Susanne and I were the first ones in the church. A few 
listeners were there too: Lucy Albers , my mother, Pastor 
Bitter and his wife with their nephews, Jenny and Tony 
Volckers, and some strangers. The man opened the gallery for 
us. We took off • our hats. Ntne. Brandt came with her niece, 
the little girl from Vienna (Bertha Porubsky). Nine. Brandt 
has looked at a silver inkstand with a laurel wreath at the 
top at Brahmf eld's. It costs about 90 Silbergroschen. I 
think an inkstand is a very suitable present for a composer." 

- 36 - 

The chorus wished to give Brahms a present, since he 

had refused to accept a fee for conducting. 

"Time passed and the church filled up. When Armhrust and 
Brahms came, it was understood that Camilla was to stand up- 
stairs. Armhrust and Brahms both spoke to her. She was 
happy and felt quite compensated for everything she had had 
to miss. " 

Camilla had evidently been ill and unable to join the 

chorus sooner. 

"Brahms came down, greeted us and said: 'We shall sing here 
again next Monday.' Splendid! I ran down to bring Fraulein 
Trier up. Brahms went back up again to Armhrust. They were 
trying the organ. Camilla was to help. To work the bellows? 
0, God forbid! ' Let me begin at the beginning. Susanne and 
I took the first places in the 2nd row. Brahms looked at us 
fixedly. Armhrust played too slowly and insisted that he 
could not see the conductor. Brahms said: 'But I can see 
him, so I am sure he must be able to see me, too.' We took 
it over again — but this boring Armhrust could not play, it 
sounded terribly -- as if he were a beat behind. Brahms 
turned white as chalk. His lips were pale. He clenched his 
left fist in order to appear calm before us. I pitied him 
indescribably. We looked with steady gaze at the baton but 
we were the only ones, I believe. Poor Brahms! 

"Gradener offered to beat time up there, but he could not see 
Brahms either. I asked: 'Can we not go up there instead? If 
we all stand, there will be enough room.' Brahms answered: 
'We can at least try it.' So we all walked up; it was very 
narrow there, but we managed. Camilla crawled around be- 
tween us, pulled out the stops, turned over the pages of 
Armhrust 's music, was teased and was happy, as happy as we 
were. Brahms looked at us, as always. We sang the Psalm 
twice. The pastor's wife was called home on account of a 
child ill with chickenpox. Tony Weinkauf took her place. 
Gradener went alternately back and forth. The wonderful Ave 
Maria pleased everybody. All were beside themselves. Then 
came Gradener' s Motet, 'Except the Lord build the house' -- 
Brahms asked Camilla: 'Will you play the cantus firmus?' 
'If I only knew it! You mustn't scold ms, if I do it badly.' 
'How can I scold?' 

"Susanne and I kept our excellent seats and sang the chorale; 
for the second time Camilla had to turn pages, she lost the 

- 37 - 

Elise, Brahms' sister, never sang in the women's 

chorus but she was intimate with several of the 

members. After Brahms had left Hamburg, she 

kept up her friendship with Laura Garbe and 

the Volckers, 

count. Susanne and I counted to help her, she did not notice 
us, but later found the place herself. 'In the second part, 
you got lost once.' Then the two choir boys of GrSdener's 
were called in. They ran like mad. The composer had to play. 
The smaller boy sang the chorale with us. Then I asked for 
the Ave Maria. 'Yes indeed, if you wish it, we have sung 
that for such a long time, we are used to it.' Then again 
at the end, the Psalm. Then he asked us to look again over 
the two new Marienlieder , Easter Morn and Praise of Mary, 
and the two Latin verses, bone Jesu, and Adoramus . Since 
Brahms had given Camilla the music three times, she believed 
that she could very properly sing with us but she would not 
ask him. I plucked up courage and asked. *0 certainly, very 
gladly.' Then he took leave of us, met mother downstairs. 
She was charmed with the Ave Maria. Father, mother, and 
sister Brahms were congratulated over and over again. I 
would have liked to do that, but I chatted a little with \fciie. 
Ave. I was too happy. Tony Weinkauf and I went together. 
She also was thrilled with the Ave Maria." 

"Thursday, September 22 at the Wagner's. Camilla and I got 
ready for the 'Brahms Academy' . Camilla was in a feverish 
excitement. We did not want to have her between us. Tilla 
was not with us. The singing was, unfortunately, rather weak. 
The few ladies came late, they had not practiced as well as 
we had. We sang both the Latin Motets and both the new Marien- 
lieder, 'On Easter morning' and 'Praise to Mary' . He recog- 
nized Camilla immediately as the girl who had recently 
played the organ. He w^s not satisfied. I had a toothache. 
Then \tne. Brandt came up to me. She said the inkwell (the 
present for Brahms) would be ready on Saturday. Ave did not 
feel well. Mme. Peterson was not there at all, so there was 
no one on hand who could ask him to play. Brahms went into 
the other room, came back, went smiling through the room up 
to the piano. He knew what we were thinking. There was a 
new picture of Clara Schumann there in a thick wreath of ivy. 
She looks at the picture of her husband and he looks at 
Brahms. Then Brahms said good-bye to Camilla especially. 
We three went home, Ave and Brahms behind us. Camilla and 
Susanne turned back in to Fuhlentwiete, since Susanne had 
forgotten her pocketbook." 

"Sunday, September 25 at the Wagner's. Got up at 6 o'clock, 
early Mass. Susanne came, we had breakfast, then with fever 
and sadness, in haste and excitement to Pastorenstrasse. 

- 38 - 

Tilla was not there. She was in church. Brahms was there, 
greeted us in a friendly way. We practiced hard. He was in 
a good mood. 'I can't stand the short rows.'" 

The meaning of this is not clear. Did Brahms mean that 
all the chairs were not filled: The rows were short? 

" 'You must take breath when you can! ' Ave had brought a 
little gray man in. Who was he? No one knew him, yet it 
seemed as if everybody thought everybody else knew him. 
Brahms asked, 'Who will take the parts by Gradener home?' 
No one answered. I went up to him and took them fron him and 
found out that I was not to sing the chorale but in a chorus 

"Then Susanne asked him: 'Couldn't we also practice this?' 
'No, it would be of no use to start something else now.' 
Then Ave came up. He said to me: 'How I shall miss him! At 
least three times a week he came to see us and was always so 
amiable! ' How true. Brahms sat down at the piano and began 
Bum! Bum! with the left hand. Then he rose, opened the 
piano and played the intermezzo from his Ballad. Then some- 
thing by Schumann from the Fantasiebilder , the Davidsbiindler - 
tdnze , and from the Kreisleriana . I thin'k, about eight 
different things. Everybody was charmed and delighted. But 
no one told him so. I could hardly help doing so, but then 
I controlled myself. We left with the books under our arms. 
Thusnelda said to me: 'You are certainly awfully zealous.' 
How could it be otherwise! We went; Ave, Brahms and the 
little gray man in front; eleven ladies followed. Tilla 
deserted us, Susanne and Camilla walked home with me but, 
since nobody was there, I went with them to Mne. Brandt's to 
take a look at the inkstand. We all liked it very much and 
so did \tne. Brandt and her niece. 

"Brahms' song: Die Schwalble ziehet fort -- Op. 7 No. 4 

'The swallows fly away, far away. 

Far to another land fly they, 

And I sithere alone and sad,' . . . 

"The two Volckers, with their eternal friendliness, called 
us 'The Mourning Society. ' 

"We heard that all the publishers were besieging Brahms to 
surrender his treasures of music to the public. Might it he 
that we had some part in this?" 

- 39 - 

Franziska's suggestion here that "The Three Crows" might 
have influenced the publishers to notice Brahms is a reference 
to a "frightful plan", they had concocted in April, (1859), 
after Brahms Serenade, Op. 11, had been performed in Hamburg, 
with Joachim conducting. The girls had been more than en- 
thusiastic about the Serenade and were convinced that Brahms 
was not appreciated. They thought that if they went to the 
music stores and asked for Brahms* compositions, they could 
persuade the dealers to keep his works on hand. (See p. 79) 
In April, she had written 

"Anna and I on the hunt -- Anna went to Jowien's and so is 
the work finally begun. Then vwe went with Camilla to all the 
music stores and put them all on the alert -- A Brahmanen 
run -- Anna, Camilla, and I were again at the hunt. I, to 
Schuberth's, Anna to Brunner's, Camilla toNiemeyer's and 
then a second time to Schuberth's." 

"Sunday evening, September 25. Tomorrow for the last time 

Brahms will be in the church. This morning, it was too 
wonderful, never will I forget the bliss which has moved me 
today. The whole week has been full of hectic excitement. 
Tomorrow there will be the parting from this amiable, unusual 
man who now is filling all our thoughts. I say with Ave: 
'How we will miss him! ' Hew we have become attached to him, 
how pleasant, friendly, patient, and liberal he has been 
toward us! I hope, when he thinks of his 'Academy' , he will 
think especially of us, and we will think especially of him. 
How is it possible for me to write down the experiences of 
this whole week?" 

"Monday, September 26, in St. Peter's Church. About 9:15, 
we were going to the Hitter's. Susanne and both sisters were 
there. We went on. In front of the closed church door, we 
met Mme. Brandt and her niece (Bertha Porubsky). We made 
someone open the door for us. Then Brahms came. 'All in 
black?' Some ladies had proposed that. 'We are going up, 
aren't we?' Camilla went after the organ blower. Brahms 
said to me: 'Your sister seems to be well acquainted with 
things here.' We were very merry. Brahms opened the door 
to Paradise. The ladies were weak, came late, and were not 
zealous. At 10:30 we were singing the Motet by Gradener, 
twice. Then three of the Marienlieder: The Angel's Greeting, 

- 40 - 

Mary Went to Church and the Hunter -- The Psalm by Schubert. 
It went badly. Then Brahms* Psalm and during the singing of 
that, he went down into the church (to listen). Gradener 
conducted, a little uneasily. We repeated it, the second 
time even worse than the first. The alto and 2nd soprano 
draped behind. Then Prayer to Mary (a \farienlieder). Then 
Adoramus and bone Jesu; and finally the Ave Maria. At the 
end of it, I asked if we could not repeat it, too. 'No, we 
cannot do that.' I said that down there they would think it 
was a second verse. Then Brahms laughed and let us sing it 

"And now, everything is over. No, not yet. Armbrust played 
the New Year Greeting by Schumann and a fugue by Bach in his 
name. B^^-A-C-H (H is b natural). He could not do it! 
Brahms saw that I had failed during the singing of the church 
bells in the Marienlied. He frowned a little. I was terribly 
ashamed and Camilla put her hands over her face. Then we 
said goodbye to him. Ntne. Nordheim was working the bellows. 
I went down with Susanne. We got ready. Upstairs there 
seemed to be crowds of people. Gradener and von Konigslow 
asked: 'What is the matter?' The answer was: 'One of the 
ladies is being taught how to work the bellows.' At that 
point Brahms leaped out and Camilla heard the cry *0 God, it 
is my sister! ' (see p. 79) Everybody laughed. Then I said 
goodbye to Brahms and wished him a good journey. He was very 
friendly. We went along with Mme. Peterson. She spoke en- 
thusiastically of our friend. Ave has already invited Joachim 
for this winter and Stockhausen will be asked soon for 
February when Brahms will be here again. 

"I went to Bohme's. They had only one copy of Brahms' songs 
in the store. They never have things because the compositions 
are still so new. Susanne asked at Jowien's for Op. 7 (The 
Swallow) in vain. He is going to get it for her. 

"Tomorrow morning at 5:30, Brahms leaves. At 7:30, von 

Konigslow, I 'Everybody who is a little bit of 

somebody! ' " 

41 - 


As soon as Brahms arrived in Detmold, where he was to 
conduct the castle choral society again for the fall months, 
he wrote to Friedchen Wagner about the inkstand: 

Detmold, end of September, 1859 

My dear Fraulein: 

Nothing could be nicer than to be compelled to write a 
letter such as this one. 

I think constantly of my joyful surprise when I discovered 
the inkstand charmingly concealed iinder flowers, given me in 
memory of the Frauenchor. 

I have done so little to deserve it that I would be 
ashamed did I not hope to compose a lot more music for you 
with it; and really more beautiful tones will resound about 
me, when I see on ray writing desk this lovely and beautiful 

Will you give my heartiest greetings and thanks to all 
those you are able to reach. 

Seldom has a more pleasing joy come to me and, indeed, 
our gatherings will always be to me one of my favorite 
recollections. But not, I hope, till later years! 

Your heartily sincere 
Johannes Brahms 

He also sent a note to Bertha Porubsky, another member 
of the Frauenchor: 

"On that last evening in Hamburg, I had great joy. I believed 
I knew where the inscription and the flowers came from. So, 

- 42 - 

for many reasons, I wrote to Fraulein Wagner. Aye, for such 
a present, I may work!" -^ 

And on September 30, a long letter went to Clara: 

"But on Monday in the church, what a touching farewell it 
was! Everything was sung twice over and the audience could 
not help being pleased with such a concert. When I got home 
in the afternoon, I found a little box and, in it, charmingly 
hidden among flowers, a silver inkstand inscribed with the 

'In memory of the surmier of '59 from the girls' choir.' 

"What will next summer not bring in the form of Psalms and 
songs of joy! As a matter of fact, I am becoming quite a 
cult in Hamburg. But I don't think that can do any harm. 
In any case, I am writing with even more zest and there are 
signs in me which suggest that in time I may produce heavenly 

1 • "Ml 


The other section of this outpouring to his confidante 
Clara is particularly significant for my story, since it ex- 
plains certain aspects of the Frauenchor that have been ignored 
by some biographers and misunderstood by others. 

"But above all, I must tell you about my fascinating Hamburg 
ladies' choir. 0, my dear girls, where are you? I shall 
certainly not stare about me when you are singing me the 
pretty things I have written for you; all forty of you shall 
stand before me and I shall see you and hear you in my mind's 
eye. I tell you that one of my most endearing memories is 
this ladies' choir, and only think of its nice, graduated 
arrangement, like a funnel: first the full choir, next a 
smaller one, for which I arranged three -part folksongs which 
I made them practice; and then a still smaller one, which 
only sang me songs for solo voices and presented me with red 
ribbons." ^^ 

The "nice, graduated arrangement of the choir, like a 
funnel" was, of course, pure romancing. He knew that Clara 
understood what he meant. The three choirs he alluded to were 
not sections of one large chorus but symbolized the different 
types of musical activity the girls engaged in with him. The 
"full choir" was the chorus which rehearsed all summer on 

- 43 - 

Monday mornings preparing for the church concert on September 
26. "The smaller one" was Friedchen's group of intimate 
friends for which he set the folksongs. They had their 
meetings in the evening. Some, if not all, of these girls were 
in the "full choir". Then the "still smaller one" consisted 
of four girls with specially good voices who sang Brahms' solo 
songs and vocal quartettes. These girls were Laura Garbe, 
Marie Renter, and the two Volckers. They were all in "the 
full choir". His reference to the "red ribbons" is some joke 
between him and the girls, as yet unexplained. 

And then .the paragraph follows: 

" I implore you to regard this as a rational letter in spite 
of its unpardonable sentimentalities regarding the forty 

The Frauenchor was definitely much more to him than "an 
endearing memory". 

Clara, apparently, had not seen the music until September 
of 1859. She wrote Brahms from Honnef on the Rhine about the 
Motets Nos. 1 and 2 of Op. 37. 

"The songs are charming and must sound quite unconmon. How 
beautifully the Adoramus flows, in spite of its classic form. 
I at once noticed how particularly tenderly the end fits the 
words Dein kbstlich Blut before I had seen that you yourself 
had called attention to these words. If only I could hear 
all these things!" ^^ 

A little later, in November, she sent her approval of 
the Ave Maria, Op. 12. 

"The Ave Maria, with its wonderfully touching simplicity, 
must sound exquisite. How delightfully the voices are clothed 
with tender melodies and tiny ornaments. The passage in 
unison, Sancta Maria, with the F F is magnificent, and then 
the swell up to ora pro nobis, until the P comes again, and 
the close which alas! comes all too quickly. From the first 
bar one firels one's self in a strangely happy frame of mind 
and one is unwilling to be torn from it so soon. The whole 

- 44 - 

feeling reminds me of Bach's magnificent pastorale, which we 
have sometimes played together." 

In the same letter, came the note of criticism of the 

Marienlieder which seems to have been felt by several friends: 

"The songs, too (Marienlieder) I like extremely and among 
them Der Jdger to begin with in which I especially like the 
second part. In the second, Ruf zur Maria, I cannot imagine 
the general effect so well, but in Magdalena the blending of 
alto with soprano is charming. But the ones I like best are 
Der englische Grass and Maria's Kirchgang though I should 
not care to hear them unless they were unusually well sung. 
The alto parts, in particular, ought to be sung by perfect 
voices if they are to be adequately interpreted." 

And finally, Clara expressed her delight in Op. 27: 

"And now for the Psalm! The Psalm seems to me as profound 
and full of meaning as the Ave Maria is charming and graceful. 
I put it higher as regards their musical worth although it 
is easy in both works to trace the same inspired interpre- 
tation of the words. It is extraordinary how in each you 
have succeeded in expressing in music the exact feeling; in 
one, peace; in the other, a conflict which grows in intensity 
until the final victory is won. It is so difficult to de- 
scribe each separate beauty in writing, things that can be 
expressed far more warmly face to face, look so cold on paper, 
but I cannot stop saying this is so beautiful and that is so 
beautiful; e.g. at the very beginning of the psalm I always 
love that third 'Lord* in D major, and then it goes on so 
wonderfully 'consider and hear me'. In 'Lighten mine eyes' 
the allegro in 6/4 rises so wonderfully with the words, and 
then grows softer again at 'My heart shall rejoice that Thou 
helpest so gladly' -- *so gladly' -- how beautiful that is! 
And now comes one of the most beautiful passages, where the 
parts continually interchange, 'I will sing unto the Lord' 
up to the full chorus. Ah! if only I oould hear it." 

Brahms answered this letter from Detmold on November 9: 

"I don' t mind saying that I am very much pleased with my things. 
I really believe, dear Clara, that lam growing, but you will 
probably be able to understand how one 'sings unto the Lord 
because he hath dealt so bountifully, so bountifully with 
one' . Has he dealt so bountifully with me? — The Ave Maria 
and the first Psalm are also at the disposal of whoever cares 

- 45 - 

to have the parts copied out, although they will not be his 
property. " 

But the tenor of his song was the ardent wish of every 

"I long for nothing more than to have my things performed." 

Brahms had already written to Bertha Porubsky of his 
satisfaction that the Frauenchor was still prospering: 

"I gladly learn that the Frauenchor still exists as a little 
republic. Shall I send songs? Gay, fresh little songs? I 
would like to give them directly to you, if you wish. Who 
has come into the alto section? I advise Fraulein G. and I 
would like to see others joining. And the new lady from 
Vienna is after all the famous pianist Marianne? Then does 
the Gewisse Graue come into the house? To whom could the 
ladies be better entrusted? He will not take them to the 
bowling alleys or compose sonatas over which one can be 
ruined." ^^ 

Who was this Gewisse Graue --a certain gray old man? 
According to Franziska's diary for Sunday, September 25, he 
had once come to a rehearsal. The letter to Bertha leaves no 
doubt that the chorus continued to meet during the autumn of 
1859. Brahms' references to "gay, fresh little songs" for 
the chorus was in memory of the Viennese folksongs the vi- 
vacious Austrian girl had often sung to him. She was one of 
Brahms' many flames and her pure soprano voice added greatly 
to her charm. Evidently she gave her aunt Augusta Brandt, 
with whom she was spending the year, some anxiety on the 
score of her intimacy with Brahms. 

The aunt warned Bertha in Goethe's words: 

"One does not crave to own the stars, 
But loves their glorious light." 

Brahms had set the beautiful poem to music in November. 
1858, so Bertha must have known it and probably had it in her 
own repertoire. It is Trost in TrSnen, Op. 48, No. 5. 

- 46 - 

Luckily for her, she was able to accept her aunt's advice 
with good grace. 

True to his promise, Brahms thought about music for the 
Hamburg girls and, in December, sent Friedchen the following 

Detmold, December 1859 

My dear Fraulein: 

Here are scHne new songs for your little singing republic. 
I hope they may assist in keeping it together. 

If I can help toward this end, pray conmand me. 

Kindest greetings to you and yours. 

Most sincerely 

Johannes Brahms 

These new songs may have been folksongs, or canons, or 
some of the Romances, Op. 44. 

Brahms returned to Hamburg to give a concert at Gradener* s 
Academy on December 2, 1859, performing the Schumann concerto. 
He conducted his own Burial Song, Op. 13, and his Ave Maria, 
Op. 12, which was sung by the Frauenchor . Possibly the 
orchestration of strings, two flutes, two oboes, two clarinets, 
two bassoons, and two horns was made for this performance as 
the wind instruments were already on hand for the Burial 
Song. Hiibbe refers to a criticism in the Correspondent which 
said that the Ave Maria was "spirited, with extraordinarily 
delicate and tasteful treatment." 

As the year drew to an end, Brahms received further en- 
couragement about his music for women's voices. His good 
friend Grimm wrote: 

"Have you the chorus and orchestra parts of your 13th Psalm? 
Will you send it to me? I have the greatest desire to study 

- 47 - 

the Burial Song, Ave Maria, and the Psalm, and when my 
orchestra is assembled to go through them, if you have nothing 
against it, and put two pieces at least in the programme of 
my concert. 

"If you do not say no -- then send them as soon as possible, 
for I should like to begin to study them next week with my 
girls." 21 

- 48 


When Franziska was asked to contribute portions of her 
diary for the Jahrbuch derGesellschaft Hamburger Kunstfreande 
in 1902, she offered the entries for the summer of 1859 and 
regretted that she had been unable to find the diary written 
in 1860. This is an irreparable loss, since she must surely 
have had a great deal to say about the details of the 
Frauenchor* s organization, the meetings, and the parties of 
that year. Letters and Memoirs, however, supply enough data 
for us to follow the chorus quite closely. 

Brahms stayed in Hamburg during the winter and spring 
of 1860. His second Serenade, Op. 16, was rehearsed on March 
28. Franziska attended and made another sketch of Brahms 

One of the first letters of his 1860 correspondence went 

to Joachim in January: 

"I let a dozen girls sing old German songs to me. I keep 
them constantly at it." 

The "dozen girls" are also mentioned by Susanne in her 

Recollections : 

"At the same time there was in Hamburg a small women's chorus 
founded, whose leader was Johannes Brahms. I was asked to 
take part and this choral singing was a source of great joy 
for all who took part. We assembled weekly in the evenings 
changing to the different families' houses. Brahms composed, 
or set, old songs into three parts for us. There were ex- 
actly twelve of us so each voice was sung by four singers." 

- 49 - 

This, of course, refers to the small, intimate group. 
But the large chorus must have been "in full swing" too, 
according to Clara's letter of February 5, 1860. 

"I am glad to hear that your Ladies' Choral Society is in 
full swing. What things youdowrite about it, tobe sure!" ^^ 

Brahms was composing for it, probably with another concert 
in mind. Op. 17 consists of four numbers, unrelated to each 
other except that they have the same accompaniment and are 
all laments. The first is Es tont ein voller Har fenklang, a 
poem by Ruperti: 

I hear a harp, whose deep-voiced tones. 
With love and yearning swelling ... 
My love is dead . . . 

The idea was taken from an old elegy sung by the young 
lacemakers when their lovers went away. 

The second song -- Come away, death --is taken from 
Shakespeare's play "Twelfth Night", with the words translated 
into German. The third one is Der Gartner (The Gardener) 
by Eichendorff. Both of these are men's love songs, not 
suitable texts for women and neither is one of his more in- 
spired creations. But the fourth and last is an ideal song 
for a women's chorus. The text is a part of Ossian's Fingal, 
a long romantic poem about the heroes and heroines of ancient 
Ireland. The Maiden of Inistore mourns for her lover Trenar, 
slain by his enemy Cuthullin. 

Brahms had thought of setting the four laments to the 
accompaniment of two horns and a harp. For the first and 
last numbers, the accompaniment is tremendously effective, 
transporting singers and listeners to the milieu of a remote 
past when hunting horns and lyres were common. 

The use of the wind instruments, however, was so novel 
that it was the subject of much correspondence between Brahms 

- 50 - 

;/„ ..: ' . 

..'.., - /.^l. 


:. . .^..,.^. 

-r ^-'< 


r ^- . - — ' '% • • 

• » ' ' '' •'., 


.. . ' ^ L r- . 

' ^'^^V 

An invitation to an evening "sing", by the 
light of hurricane lamps, arranged in honor 
of a visit of Joachim's on March 29, 1860. 
Drawn by Henny Gabain, a member of the 
Hamburger Frauenchor. 

and his friends. In March, Brahms wrote to Grimm: 

"On the following Tuesday, I shall try out a few things for 
women's and for mixed chorus with harp and horns, to which 
naturally I cannot invite people. The harp stories or 
similar things can be done again in April." 

Grimm praised the Fingal piece, but expressed doubt as 
to the value of the others. 

"Above all, I am pleased with the Fingal piece of Op. 17 and 
the little Minnelied. I wish it had a four bar ending. -- 
But the Fingal piece is glorious." 

As usual, the warmest response came from Clara: 

"What made you think of a harp and horns? I cannot imagine 
what the combination of these instruments would sound like, 
but it would certainly be most uncorrmon if not actually spell 
binding. There must have been a very pretty girl in your 
choir who happened to play the harp and for whom you composed 
the piece. Provided the horns do not sound too harsh in the 
hall, I should think the general effect would be full of 
feeling. Please write me about it, lam deeply interested." 

On April 2, Brahms wrote Clara: 

"Sunday evening was particularly delightful and that was due 
to my girls, whom I summoned to do honour to Joachim, or 
rather to do honour to them ... It was charming. I had 
spoken to Joachim about a certain girl who wore a black dress, 
but when we arrived, they were all in black. In spite of 
their joy over Joachim, they insisted on putting on mourning 
because our evenings were over. Wasn't it sweet of them? 
Unfortunately, we could not get a harp and two bad hornists 
accompanied us. Joachim enjoyed the whole thing very much 
and I was obliged to promise to go on with it. 

"It is really quite pleasant. The girls are so nice, fresh, 
and enthusiastic. Without being soft and sentimental. On 
the way home (an hour's journey away), it unfortunately 
rained, otherwise we usually have a lot of fine singing and 
serenading on the road. My girls, for instance, will walk 
quite calmly into a garden and wake the people up at midnight 
with their singing ... 

"I cannot help thinking that you must be here next time ... 
The girls are always available. I am sure you would enjoy 

- 51 - 

them imnensely and you do not yet know Ossian, Shakespeare, 
etc. with harp and horns." 

Another composition for four women's voices, dated by 

von Ehrmann April 1860, is Vineta, the poem about the sunken 


Up from out the lowest depths of ocean. 
Far-off sounds of muffled evening chimes 
Tell us of the fair and wondrous city 
Deep engulfed in long- forgotten times. 

Deep from out my inmost heart's recesses, 
Ringing faint like far-off muffled chimes, 
Comes to me the magical remembrance 
Of forgotten love in by-gone times. (See App. D) 

Vineta was published in 1868 as No. 2 of Op. 42 for a 
six part mixed chorus. Why the romantic song never appeared 
in the original version is unknown. That the Frauenchor 
sang it would seem certain. It is in the Stimmenhefte . In 
Friedchen's book, there is a date -- May 20, Sunday -- on 
the pages which has her manuscript corrected in Brahms' 
handwriting. This was the day of a picnic mentioned by 
Clara. But more information than this -- how the chorus 
liked it, whether any friends heard it, what Clara and Grimm 
thought of it -- has vanished, like the sunken city itself. 

Successful musical experiences led Brahms to ask his 

friends to share his satisfaction. On April 15 he invited 


"Will you seriously consider spending some time during the 
summer in Hamburg? Frau Schumann may be here too. Then it 
would be worthwhile to continue with the Frauenchor in order 
to entertain you." 

By April 26, he had become even more determined to have 

Clara in Hamburg: 

"I feel certain that you have enough youthful spirits to be 
amused by my Girls' Choir, by which I have for once indulged 
in a conventional pleasure. It is not to break up. The 

- 52 - 

choir meets onMonday evening, after which the best alto will 
be leaving us, so you must hear it on that evening. But you 
absolutely must enjoy Monday evening with us, so that you can 
have a taste of the most important of our distractions. It 
is bright moonlight just now and we will be in a particularly 
charming house half an hour's walk from the town. You will 
also be able to hear duets by me, but only on one particular 
day owing to the departure of the alto. 

"Please be here on Saturday, because Sunday afternoon or 
evening I have to call upon one or two nice girls, near the 

"P. S. You will not hear a note of my music the whole of the 
summer if you do not hear the perfectly charming new 
Minnelieder on Monday." 

He must have been alluding to the Romances of Op. 44 
and the duet mentioned above was No. 3 of Op. 20, composed 
in April, 1860. 

Before Clara came, however, Brahms wrote out some 
amusing by-laws for the Hamburger Frauenchor . He was 
studying Latin at the time with Dr. Hallier and so adopted 
an archaic style with plenty of Latin words inserted: 


Whereas it is absolutely conducive to Plaisire that it 
should be set about in right orderly fashion, it is hereby 
announced and made known to such inquiring minds as may 
desire to become and to remain members of the most profitable 
and delightful Ladies' Choir that they must sign in toto 
(Partoute) the articles and heads of the following document 
before they can enjoy the above-mentioned title and partic- 
ipate in the musical recreation and diversion. 

I ought in sooth {zwaren) to have dealt with the matter 
long ago, but whereas during spring's fair preamble 
{preambuliret) and until summer end {finiret), there should 

- 53 - 

be singing, it should now be timely for this opus to see 
the light of day. 

Pro primo be it remarked that the members of the Ladies' 
Choir must be present. 

As who should say: They shall bind themselves {obligiren) 
to attend the meetings and practices of the society {Societat) 

And if so be that anyone do not duly observe this 
article and (which God forbid! ) it were to come to pass that 
anyone were to be so lacking in all decorum as to be entirely 
absent during a whole practice {Exercitium): 

She shall be punished with a fine of 8 shillings 
(Hamburg currency). 

Pro Secundo it is to be observed that the members of 
the Ladies' Choir are to be present: 

As who should say: they shall be there precisely 
ipraecise) at the appointed time. 

But, on the other hand, whosoever shall so transgress 
as to make her due reverence and attendance at the society a 
whole quarter of an hour too late shall be fined 2 shillings 

In consideration of her great merits in connection with 
the Ladies' Choir, and in consideration of her presumably 
highly defective and unfortunate constitution (Complexion) , 
a subscription shall now be established for the never enough 
to be favoured { favor irende) and adored (adorirende) Demoiselle 
Laura Garbe, in accordance with which she need not pay the 
fine every time, in lieu of which a moderate (moderirte) 
account shall be presented to her {praesentiret) at the end 
of the quarter. 

Pro tertio: the moneys so collected shall be given to the 
poor, and it is to be desired that none of them get too much. 

- 54 - 

Pro quarto it is to be observed that the manuscript 
music {Musikalien) is largely confided to the discretion of 
the ladies. Wherefore it shall be preserved in due love and 
all kindness by the honourable and virtuous ladies, married 
or unmarried, as being the property of others, eind shall also 
in no wise be taken outside the society. 

Pro quinto: That which cannot join in the singing is 
regarded as neutral (Neutrum) ; to wit: listeners will be 
tolerated, but be it observed, pro ordinario, in such wise 
that the due usefulness of the exercitia be not impaired. 

The above mentioned due and detailed proclamation is 
herewith made public to all and sundry by the present General 
Rescript and shall be maintained in force until the Ladies' 
Choir shall have reached its latter end {Endschaft) . 

And you shall not only observe the above without fail, 
but also use your most earnest endeavours that others may in 
no wise or ways act or behave in a manner contrary to it. 

To whom it may concern: such is our opinion and we 
await your judicious and much-to-be-desired approbation 

In expectation whereof, in deepest devotion and veneration, 
the willing scribe of the Ladies' Choir, who always keeps 
time and is at all times theirs to command. 

Johannes Kreisler, Jun. 
(alias Brahms) 

Given this Monday, the 30th of the month Aprilis, A.D. 1860. 


Brahms used the surname Kreisler instead of his own as 
a kind of magic password into the world of romantic poetry 
and music. Johannes Kreisler Jr. was a character in his 
favorite novel Kater Murr by E. T. A. Hoffman. 

- 55 - 

The facetious remark about Laura Garbe, whose beautiful 
voice strengthened the soprano section, was made because she 
was always late and Brahms never wished to begin the rehearsal 
without her. To her protest against the somewhat disparaging 
joke, Clara suggested that the allusion to her individually 
in the " Avertimento" would surely make her famous. 

Each member received a badge. It was a three-leaved 
design with a circle in the center. The circle showed a B 
in a red ground; the three surrounding rings were marked with 
the letter H. F. C. Hamburger Frauenchor . (See p. 79 and 
Chapter IX) 

In Susanne Schmaltz' s book, she described the little 


"Each one of us had a medal with the inscription, Hamburger 
Frauenchor , which we considered sacred. In spite of that, I 
unfortunately lost it with the watch towhich it was attached 
and could never find either. " 

One copy of the Avert imento has the following signatures: 
Auguste Brandt - (aunt of Bertha Porubsky) 
Bertha Porubsky - (a young girl from Vienna) 
Laura Garbe - (soprano, one of the quartette) 
Marie Seebohm 
Emilie Lentz 
Clara Schumann 
Julie Hallier 

Marie Hallier - (m. Prof. Junghaus and lived in Eppendorf) 
Charlotte Ave Lallement - (Ave's daughter) 
Friedchen Wagner - (m. Kurt Sauermann in 1865) 
Thusnelda Wagner - (m. Landvogt Johannes Hiibbe) 
Marie Renter - (one of the quartette) 
Betty Volckers - (one of the quartette; m. 0. von.Konig- 

slow in Bonn) 
Marie Volckers - (one of the quartette; m. Music 
Director Boie in* Altona) 

- 56 - 

Henny Gabain - (see her sketch of Brahms) 

Marie Bohme 

Franziska Meier - (m. 1861 Lentz in Cuxhaven) 

Camilla Meier - (sister of Franziska) 

Susanne Schmaltz - (author of Begluckte Err inner un gen) 

Antoine Mertens 

Ejnma Gradener - (daughter of Gradener, m. Emil Hallier) 

In the original of the Avertimento, the signature of 
Emma Gradener was missing. Instead, following the names of 
Antoine Mertens, probably added after April 30, were: 

Emilie Bur chard, Ida Begeman, Auguste Bachmann, Olga 

Wagner, (m. Max Rausch) ^ 

Although Clara's name appears on the Avertimento, she 
was not present at the meeting on April 30. The signatures 
must have been made a few days later, after her arrival. Nor 
was she in Hamburg in time for the private performance of the 
songs with harp and horns, Op. 17, at Gradener' s Academy. 
The last and best one -- The Fingalpiece or Lament for 
Trenar -- was not sung. It was not quite ready, nor were 
Nos . 1 and 2 of Op. 44; No. 1 being the "perfectly charming 
new Minnelied", Der Holdseligen S<mder Wank. 

On May 6, Brahms wrote Grimm requesting him to return 
his Frauenchor compositions which Grimm was evidently in- 

"I am still sitting here, maybe for the whole summer. I 
always have the urge to go away and I can't get myself 
started at anything. I don't want to call my women's chorus 
together again. I feel that I must be on the Rhine . . . Frau 
Schumann is coming to-morrow, for a fortnight. I would like 
to ask you to send my Frauenchor canpositions. I should like 
to have them sung for her. Send them at once, so I can have 
them for Wednesday . . . 

"Of Qssian and the a cape 11a Frauenchor things I have no voice 
parts. My girls have to write the voice parts themselves and 
it has to be done by sending them around every few days." ^ 

- 57 - 

Thus Brahms himself explained how the Stimmenhefte were 

In the same letter is a significant sentence which is 
itself enough to prove that the activities of the large 
chorus and the small, intimate group were different. 

"A small group of young girls sing with me in the evenings -- 
German folksongs and the things I write." 

Susanne Schmaltz never forgot those evenings: 

"I remember one wonderful evening in the early part of the 
year. We sang as usual a capella. V/e stood under a 
blossoming apple tree in the moonlight, Brahms conducting in 
the middle." 

The song she quotes is the famous Minnelied: probably 
in the 3 part version. Der Holdseligen Sonde r Wank, Op. 44, 
No. 1. Her recollections continued with: 

"Often, after the musical evenings with Brahms, we went home 
singing, dropping the members one by one." 

Clara arrived on May 6 and concealed herself in a hotel 

until the 7th, which was Brahms' birthday. Her visit was a 

happy one from everybody's point of v^ew. She recorded it in 

her diary: 

" I stayed in Hamburg from May 7th to 24th and spent the time 
very pleasantly on the whole ... We had a great deal of music 
together: The Serenades, The Harfenlieder , and to my constant 
joy, The Mar ienlieder and Volks lieder given by the Ladies 
Choral Society. There was one delightful evening, when 
Johannes told us about his childhood. On Sunday (the 20th), 
a party of us including some of the Ladies Choral Society, 
went for a delightful expedition in the steamer to Blankenese. 
When we got there, we sought out the most beautiful trees in 
the garden and sang under them, Johannes sitting on a branch 
to conduct. " ^ 

So precious was the memory of this occasion that Clara 
referred again to it in a letter to Brahms written on June 

14, 1863. 

- 58 - 

These expeditions made such an impression on everyone 
who joined in them that there are several accounts. The 
Halliers lived in Eppendorf which, at that time, was quite 
in the country. Julie and Marie were in the chorus and Emil 
was intimate with Brahms. The chorus often met at the 
Hallier's and Hiibbe describes an outdoor meeting there. 

"A huge hothouse was scantily furnished as a dwelling. Be- 
tween this and the hill was an enclosed pond situated between 
slopes planted with vineyards with a grotto at the south 
side. Above it stood a temple surrounded by trees. This 
garden was occasionally the scene of pleasant and cheerful 
meetings. In the sunmer of 1859, the Frauenchor had a picnic 
there. The ladies had brought paper lanterns with which the 
pond was encircled while the gentlemen filled the pauses in 
the singing with fireworks. The chorus had formed in front 
of the temple and Brahms often hilarious to the point of im- 
ruliness, climbed one of the trees and conducted the singing 
from there. Finally, the party, in the gayest mood, illumi- 
nated by the lighted lanterns, from them went a saying 
through the village." ^^ 

If the party had taken place in 1859, it certainly must 
have been before August 1, since Franziska makes no mention 
of it in her diary. 

Hiibbe goes on to say: 

"Occasionally Brahms could be impolite even, according to 
conventional social ideas, especially if he noticed that they 
would burden him with ovations, for which he had little 
liking. One time he was at Ave's. As he was leaving, he 
was urgently reminded that a small circle of ladies awaited 
him in order to celebrate his birthday. He accepted with 
hesitation. But he returned unexpectedly. When he was asked 
with astonishment why he had not gone with his ladies, he 
calmly answered he had sent them instead of himself a fine 

On May 24th, Brahms accompanied Clara to the Rhine 
Festival at Diisseldorf. He asked the vocal quartette of girls 
from the Hamburger Frauenchor to go with them. The quartette 
consisted of Laura Garbe, Betty and Marie Volckers, and 

- 59 - 

Marie Reuter. Brahms showed his pride in these musical 
friends who sang his 3 of 4 part songs, one voice to each 
part. In fact, he thought so much of their talent that, 
later on, he begged them for a photograph. They complied 
with his request, inwardly rejoicing, of course, but out- 
wardly pretending that he wanted it only to "draw up the fire 
in a refractory stove." ^^ While they were at the Dusseldorf 
Festival, Brahms suggested to Clara that she give them a 
chance to prove their worth. She arranged an informal re- 
cital and invited a large group of distinguished people, in- 
cluding Joachim and Stockhausen, to hear them. Clara herself 
substituted for Marie Reuter who was taken ill at the last 
moment and could not sing. Apparently, everyone was de- 
lighted but no one now, it seems, knows which songs were 

Brahms stayed away from Hamburg until August 10. When 

he returned, he again got in touch with the singing girls 

and wrote Joachim on September 13: 

"Ifere nothing happens besides my girls' singing. Before the 
night is over, we'll cross the Alster River for it." ^ 

During the spring and summer of 1860, Brahms carried 

on a lively correspondence with Grimm about the Marienlieder . 

These letters are valuable as showing just why Brahms changed 

the Marienlieder and did not publish them for a women's 

chorus. Grimm wrote: 

"My girls have sung your Psalm and the two first Marienlieder 
and gave me great pleasure thereby. If we practice on it 
again, it will go well. The deep altos sound very beautiful. 
I have a few -- It may be advisable to go cautiously with 
it. They won't be able to stand it, if they have to work on 
it much longer; the same thing for the high sopranos in the 
Psalm. If all goes well with the chorus at the first or 
second rendering -- good, allright -- to practice them is 
exhausting, and the result would not be satisfactory, were 
the personal influence of the conductor less felt than with 
you or I. In this sense, I think your handling of the voice 

- 60 - 

parts is not practical, when all is said and done. The Psalm 
pleases me -- so warm, so vital and always fervent." 

After Brahms had written Grimm on May 6 asking him to 

return his Frauenchor music, he received the following reply: 

"Everything that I have of yours, I return herewith. Shall 
I write you all my ideas? — I would not risk it for four 
women's voices -- 

"1. Because the deep voices sound much better sung by tenors 
and are more effective, as for instance, in your Benedictus-- 
what a wonderful piece it is! 

"2. Because the studying of the piece has its exhausting 
difficulties. As soon as the high sopranos take breath in 
the pauses, they laugh at the bass struggles of the second 
alto voices. They are annoyed and confound them all and 
yearn for tones that stand within the five lines. 

"This, of course, is nonsense but, for that reason, the treat- 
ment of the second alto should be cautiously handled, if the 
beautiful songs are to be sung with pleasure, and well. I 
can't help it, I myself do not care to hear the deep alto 
pitch through a whole song of many verses, even as the sound 
of a chorus, where the basses struggle exclusively below C. 
They must come up fresh, preferably in their middle pitch, 
which is really more advantageous for each voice. Besides 
which, the deep altos do not sound characteristic to me, as 
you perhaps thought (at best only in a few places). They 
remain (at least to me) too weak for a thorough foundation. 
Forgive me that this chatter has grown so long. " 

Then Brahms returned: 

"I would like to double and thicken your thin 'buts'. I am 
going to try the Marienlieder in the next few days for 1 
tenor, 1 alto, and 2 sopranos. I hope to find, in some 
degree, a good reception." ^ 

It was clear enough what Grimm thought; he agreed with 
Clara's first estimate that the alto parts of the Marienlieder 
were too low and therefore ineffective. 

In September, Brahms tried Joachim out: 

"About the Marienlieder , which you probably do not know yet, 
I should like to bear a word --do you like them? ^ 

- 61 - 

But on October 3, of the following year, 1861, he wrote 

Joachim again, this time thoroughly discouraged: 

"Now I shall send my Marienlieder to Rieter and while, in 
former times I was happy hearing them, they now seem to me 
like an empty piece of paper. I don't like to send them off, 
yet I could not make them any different, in short, I wish I 
were rid of them! " ^' 

The Marienlieder were published as Op. 22 in 1862 for 
SSAT. In this setting however, they have not been much en- 
joyed. What mixed chorus will select a composition that has 
no bass part? Brahms missed a chance here to further the 
performance of his music. At that time, women's choruses 
would have welcomed the addition of these charming and suitable 
pieces to their scant literature. Brahms could readily have 
made a few obvious alterations in the 2nd alto part, as Prof. 
Geer has recently done in the Vassar Choral Series. Or they 
can be sung exactly as they are transposed up a tone. 
(Drinker Choral Library U. of P. Choral Series No. 75) (See 
p. 22) The only one of the seven that cannot be sung by 
merely transposing it is No. 3, Mary's Journey, which was not 
in the Frauenchor' s repertoire and must have been composed 
in the new arrangement. And the songs, in their original 
form, had evidently pleased enough people to justify their 
continued existence. Franziska never mentioned any difficulty 
on the part of the chorus with them; Clara noted in her diary 
that she heard them to her "constant joy". Even some years 
later, Franz Wiillner performed them at the Cologne Conserva- 
tory, when Teresa Behr Schnabel was a pupil there. She sang 
the 2nd alto part in the chorus and remembers the jJfarieniiec/er 
with satisfaction. 

- 62 - 

Between 1859 and 1863, Brahms composed the twelve 
Romances for four part women's chorus, published in 1866 as 
Op. 44. They are all in the St immenhe fte . No. 1, Der 
Holdseligen Sonder Wank, is written in two versions, in three 
parts and in four. Obviously, the three-part song was in- 
tended for the group of twelve girls, four to each part, as 
Susanne Schmaltz explained. In one of Friedchen Wagner's 
books, the same enchanting melody is set to words adapted for 
a bridesmaids' song. But for what couple the felicitation 
was intended, we have not the slightest clue. 

1. Der Holdseligen Sonder Wank; poem by J. H. Voss, 
To my darling one, strong and gay, 

Love is bidding me sing to-day . . . 

2. Der Brautigam; poem by J. von Eichendorff, 
From every mountain sounding . . . 

I hear the voice of spring. 

3. 0, Fischer auf den Flttten, Fidel in; Italian popular 

0, fisher come thee hither, Fidelin. 

4. Wozu ist mein langes Haar; Slavic folksong. 
0, why have I long and curly hair? 

5. Die MiJhle; poem by von Chamisso. 

The sails of the wind mill are sweeping. 

- 63 - 

6. Die Nonne; poem by L. Uhland. 
Within the cloister meadow 

A weeping maiden sighs. 

7. Nun stehen die Rosen; poem by P. Heyse, Aus dem 

Jungbrunnen . 
The red, red roses are blooming 
And Love again his snare has set. 

8. Die Berge; Aus dem Jungbrunnen. 

The mountains are cold, and the mountains are steep. 

9. Am Wildbach; Aus dem Jungbrunnen . 
The willows by the water 

are waving night and day; 
our love will never waver, 
nor will it pass away. 

10. Und gehst du uber den Kirchhof ; Aus dem Jungbrunnen, 
And when you go to the churchyard, 

A newly made grave is there . . . 

11. Die Braut; poem by W. Miiller. 

This gay colored apron, thou, my mother gave me. 
It were waste to buy it, waste to weave and dye it. 
By to-morrow morning will my tears have made it 
Look no longer blue but colorless and faded. 
(See p. 92) 

12. Marznacht; poem by L. Uhland 
Hark! The March wind is roaring. 

The torrents are gushing to-night, hark! 
Shyly filled with delight 
Loveliest Springtime is near. 

Every one of these poems expresses the spirit of romantic 
love and the longing to live life to the full in the green 

- 64 - 

forests, near the rippling streams, where flowers bloom and 
birds sing. "The Bridegroom" (No. 2) is the very essence of 
romance, and combines the expression of a subjective emotion 
with the objective quality of a ballad in a way that makes 
the text ideal for a chorus. 

From every mountain sounding 

Rejoicing echoes ring. 

O'er hill and dale resounding 

I hear the voice of spring. 

Thru castle yard is ringing 

A summons clear and gay, 

My love to me is singing, 

'Come ride with me away. 

'Ah, whither are we going. 

So fast o'er dale and hill?' 

The breeze is softly blowing 

The sleeping wood is still. 

Away! together fare we, 

The moonlit forest thru. 

The night is still; what care we? 

Where Love may take us two! 

The music, too, rushes on like the steed that carried 
the lovers. It is one of Brahms' most successful and ap- 
pealing pieces for women's chorus. 

Another four part composition from the same period, and 
also written in the Stimmenhefte , is Es geht ein Wehen by 
Paul Heyse, Aus dem Jungbrunnen. For some unknown reason, 
it was not included in Op. 44, and was never published for 
women's voices, but is now available at Drinker Choral 
Library U. of P. Ch. Ser. 22. It appears for mixed voices in 

- 65 ' 

Op. 62, No. 6 slightly changed at the end. The beautiful 
words recommend it for any setting: 

A sigh goes floating thro' the wood, 

I hear the wind's bride singing. 
She's singing of her Dearest one, 

and 'til she is his very own. 
With anxious heart she must go on, 

across the wide world winging. 
The song that thus so ghastly sounds, 

the sound so wild, so troubled, 
Has set my heart on fire, my precious one! 
A thousand, thousand times, good-night! 
The day will come, before we know, 

when we will be together. 

And the music is especially effective when sung by women. 
The first verse, about the wind's bride, sounds more ethereal 
and mysterious than is possible when men* s voices participate . 
The almost magical contrast which comes when the voices move 
up half a tone to the affirmation of human love is therefore 
all the greater. But no mention is made of this treasure 
for women's voices by the singers or other friends! 

Clara came to Hamburg on January 9 and stayed at the 
Halliers. The happy memories of the previous year induced 
her to invite the Frauenchor to sing at her concert on 
Tuesday, January 15, at 7 P.M. in the great Wormer's Hall. 
The programme for this great occasion read as follows: 

- 66 - 

by Clara Schumann 

with the kind cooperation of a Ladies* Chorus 


Messrs. Joseph Joachim, Johannes Brahms, Nicolaus 

Schaller (harp) 


1. Sonata for piano and violin Beethoven Op. 47 

Clara Schumann and Joseph Joachim 

2. Songs with harp and two horns J. Brahms 

a. Es tont ein voller Harfenklang (Fr. Ruperti) 

b. Komm herbei. Tod (Wm. Shakespeare) 

c. Der Gartner (J, von Eichendorff) 

The Hamburger Frauenchor 

3. Symphonic Etudes . . R. Schumann Op. 13 

Clara Schumann 

4. Andante and Variations for Two Pianos R. Schumann 

Clara Schumann and Johannes Brahms 

5. Barcarolle and Scherzo for violin Spohr 

Joseph Joachim 

6. Songs for Women' s Chorus J. Brahms 

a. Minneiied (J. Voss) 

b. Der Brautigam (J. von Eichendorff) 

c. Gesang aus Fingal (Ossian) with harp and horns 

The Hamburger Frauenchor 

7 . Nocturne Fr . Chopin 

Gavotte J. S. Bach 

Clara Schumann 

- 67 - 

The concert was repeated in Altona on January 16. Clara's 
own account of her visit is in her diary: 

"Johannes made my stay very pleasant by his kindness and his 
often beautiful playing. He played a great deal of Schubert." 

"Tuesday, January 15. I gave a soiree. Joachim came on 

purpose to play and Johannes also played some pieces for two 
pianos with me. Besides these, the Ladies Choral Society 
sang some of his Ossian songs with harp and horn obligato. 
They are pearls. How can one help loving such a man?" 

"January 16. Soiree at Altona. Johannes' songs again and 
also Joachim, magnificent. I can well put up with concerts 
of this kind. Then it is a joy to have music." ^ 

In 1861, the public appearance of a Ladies' Choral Society 
was quite unusual. If a performance were given by a women's 
chorus, it took place in a private house before invited 
guests and had the nature of an entertainment. Or else, a 
concert was given as part of the activities of the music 
school, in the Conservatory building. A third and not so 
general an outlet for a women's chorus was in a Protestant 
Church, upon the occasion of a wedding, a funeral, or a 
christening. But it was not until the 20th century that a 
women's chorus appeared in public on the concert stage on a 
par with a mixed chorus, an orchestra, or a soloist. In 
Germany, the change in custom did not take place until 1912, 
when Margarete Dessoff conducted her Frankfurt women's chorus 
at the Brahms Festival. 

Clara's concert of January 15, 1861, therefore, was very 
important in the annals of women's choruses. It had im- 
mediate repercussions because, through it, people became 
familiar with the Harfenlieder . On April 5, Frau Franziska 
Cornet, a singing teacher in Hamburg gave the Fingal piece 
at a concert of her 40 pupils. And on April 27 of the 
following year, Clara wrote Joachim from Paris: 

"The German Choral Society is going to get the Harfenlieder 
(Op. 17). I have been happy about this for days past." ^ 

- 68 - 

There is every indication that the Frauenc/ior was active 
during the winter of 1860-61. Brahms was in Hamburg and the 
amateurs of the city had evening after evening of pleasure 
with music. Franziska told Frau Marie Zacharias, who organ- 
ized the material for the Jahrbuch of 1902, that she re- 
membered March 3 vividly since she became engaged on that 
evening. The Frauenchor met and practiced the canon 
Marznacht (Op. 44, No. 12) with special diligence. 

During the summer of 1861, Brahms lived at Frau Dr. 
Rosing' s in Hamm. She was the aunt of Marie and Betty 
Volckers and lived next door to them in a low, broad country 
house at the corner of the Schwarzenstrasse. Here, Brahms 
had a studio to himself where he could work undisturbed but 
have pleasant company when he desired it. He thoroughly en- 
joyed the informal gatherings at these two houses, as well 
as at the Wagner's, at the Brandt's, and at the Hallier's 
who always welcomed artists, poets, and musicians. 

At the end of October, Clara returned to Hamburg and 
gave another concert on November 16, 1861, at which she 
played a piano quartette by Brahms from manuscript (Op. 25). 
Again, she invited the Frauenchor to participate. This time, 
sixteen ladies sang six songs which were received by the 
audience "with vigorous acknowledgement." But which ladies 
and what songs? 

During most of the spring and summer of 1862, Brahms 

continued to live at Frau Dr. Rosing' s, whose place he had 

grown to love. The Volckers were still next door £ind the 

informal music went on. After several years, when he had 

left Hamburg and Marie Volckers, as Frau Professor Boie, had 

gone to Bonn to live, he wrote her: 

"If you have any more photographs taken, bear in mind the 
two houses, which are very dear to both of us and then think 

- 69 - 

/ / 

6U 4. 


Brahms' dedication in one of Betty V61ckers' Stimmenhefte : 
''I bless the house ..." {ixom \h^ Brautgesang) . 

of me again, too. There is no other time that I would rather 
recollect! I can think of nothing better." 

In one of Betty's books, he wrote a dedication: 
"As a friendly remembrance of our sociable music making. " 

Curiously enough, he used the phrase from the Brautgesang to 
honor her house : 

" I bless the house " 

Marie Volckers Boie shared Brahms' feelings: 

"Often distinguished guests asked if they might visit us. 
Frau Schumann, Joachim, and others. And although we lived 
so far from the city, Brahms always wanted the Frauenchor to 
meet at our house. What a source of pure joy and beautiful 
memories that time affords! It was so wonderful that I can- 
not describe it or recreate it in words. Brahms came over 
almost every day, played for us far into the night, fulfilling 
every wish and every request willingly. I also had the good 
fortune to be his pupil. With Frauleins Garbe and Reuter, 
we sang the beloved songs; he gave the note and beat time a 
little and we (called by him "his girls' quartette") competed 
jubilantly with the nightingales of the garden. He sent us 

M 41 

over new songs ... 

Everybody mentions the nightingales in the gardens and 
the beauty of their song. Certainly, it must have been these 
birds that inspired him to set Die Verzauberte Nachtigall 
(The Enchanted Nightingale), write it out for them in his own 
hand, and take it to the girls who "competed jubilantly with 
the nightingales." 

To resume Marie's story: 

"He sent us over new songs . .. one was the splendid Und gehst 
du ixber den Kirchhof (And when you go to the Churchyard), 
Op. 44, No. 10. Another one we practiced was So hab' ich 
doch die game Woche (Through all the week I had awaited), 
published as Op. 47, No. 3 for solo voice. At our request 
he set for us Wenn ich ein Voglein wdre (If I a bird could 
be) from Schumann's (jenoveva; ^kin Schatz ist nicht da, (Far 
over the sea is my own dear lad) published as Op. 14, No. 8; 
Morgen muss ich fort (To-morrow I must go); and still other 
songs in four parts." 

- 70 - 


n ^iA'' " rM v'^ y ^'h: 


In one of Marie Volckers' Stimmenhefte, there are several insertions in Brahms' 

handwriting. One of these is Die Verzauherte Nachtigall 

(The Enchanted Nightingale). 

Notation from Marie Volckers' singing-book. 




^ •' 1 





("H V( 






-<^r.. If^i^i^i> 






■9.:^^ ^U fe^^;/ /^^^ ... .i. .'.r.7 


1 \ 

t>^. /^^M^^/iTJ 


Brahms' 3 part version of Mem Schats ist nicht da, (op. 14, no. 8) as composed 

for Betty and Marie Volckers and Laura Garbe in April 1862. In the last 

bar of the first system and in the sixth bar of the second system, 

the signs V indicate repeat for those bars. Brahms has 

substituted the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 to save himself 

the work of copying. 

Attached to one of Marie's St immenhefte is a card in- 
scribed in the thinnest and finest German script: 

"If I a bird could be;" and "Far over the sea is my own 
dear lad." Manuscript by J. Brahms for Fraulein Garbe, 
Betty and me. Written on Easter eve April 8, 1862." 

The three part arrangement of Mein Schatz ist nicht da 
is particularly interesting since this was one of the songs 
composed while Brahms was under the spell of Agathe at 
Gottingen in 1858. (See Chapter III) The words have the 
added value of being appropriate for girls. 

Far over the sea, 
Is my own dear lad, 
And I think of him oft. 
And my heart is so sad. 
Fair blue is the sea, 
And my heart full of pain. 
There is no joy for me 
Till my love comes again! 

The solo version must have been the earlier for the first 
love and the trio was the result of his infatuation for 
Laura Garbe' s equally beautiful soprano voice. Only this 
time, Betty and Marie Volckers claimed attention too. That 
the three part version became appropriated by the Hamburger 
Frauenchor can be seen from the neat edition in Franziska 
Meier's book, Versammlung No. 3. 

When the autumn came, the good times were over and, un- 
fortunately, forever. Brahms went to Vienna. Although he 
had fully intended to return and did return the following 
summer, he never called his Frauenchor together again. It 
was not because some of the girls had married and moved away-- 
they could have been replaced by others. It was not because 
he had lost interest in the women's voices. His contacts 
with different groups of women in Vienna dispose of that 

- 71 - 

I "^OC^J...^^ 




^ ^>,^-^->^^ 














^^/... .^ 







"Mein Schatz ist nicht da". This version is from Franziska Meier*s 
book, Versammlung No. 3. 

suspicion. The real reason was that his attitude toward his 
Hamburg friends had changed. He was deeply hurt that they 
had not offered him the leadership of the Singakademie and 
the Philharmonic Orchestra when the opportunity to engage 
new directors arose. The citizens of his native town failed 
him at a critical moment of his career. While the members 
of the Frauenchor were not themselves influential enough to 
have sponsored him, their families could probably have ex- 
erted pressure upon the managers of the Hamburg musical in- 
stitutions. As it was, he felt too angry to continue his 
formal association with the Ladies* Choral Society. 

The girls were still singing, singing the music he had 
given them. One day, a few of them had gone to Baurschen 
Park in Blankenese for a picnic and were surprised to see 
Brahms walking alone, deep in thought. They wondered how to 
attract his attention until they agreed: "We will simply 
sing one of our old songs!" So they chose the folksong 
"There stands a tree in Odenwood." At the sound of the 
familiar voices, Brahms forgot his ill-humour and joined the 

Canon No. 12 in Op. 113 is dated Hamburg, May 7, 1863 
and may have been a birthday present from Brahms to his old 
friends. He celebrated his 30th birthday in Hamburg, we 
know, and probably several members of the Frauenchor were 
there, singing this new canon and the others he had previ- 
ously written for them. 

1. Gott licher Morpheus; text by Goethe. 

Heaven born Morpheus. 

2. Grausam erweiset; text by Goethe. 

Cruel, ah cruel, has love been to me. 

8. Ein Gems auf dem Stein; text by Eichendorff. 
A ram on the height. 

- 72 - 

10. Leise Tone der Brust; text by Riickert. 

Softly plucking the chords. 

11. Ich weiss nicht; text by Riickert. 

I wonder why the dove so sad is cooing. 

12. Wenn Kummer hatte zu tbdten; text by Riickert. 

If grief were able to kill me. (dated May 7, 1863) 

I have numbered these as they appear in Op. 113, published 
several years later. There are three other canons, however, 
written in the Stimmenhefte that were not included in Op. 113. 
One of these is: 

Time, Under nder Klang. 

Music however soft, thou hast no cure for my anguish. 

It was later published for S. A. T. B. but not in the 
original key of G minor. The musical feature of it is the 
continuing change of key back to the original scale. At the 
entry of each voice, a sharp is added to the preceding key. 
With four voices each entering 3 times, the cycle is com- 
pleted. (See Appendix D) 

The other two appear in Brahms' handwriting: Mein lieb, 
blau Blumelein and Der Herr erharm sich unser . They are the 
refrains to a song which begins Dem Himmel will ich klagen 
and to the Lied der geissel hriider . (See p. Ill) 

The history of the Hamburger Frauenchor ends on Brahms' 
birthday, May 7, 1863. It is still an incompleted history 
with many discrepancies in the biographers' accounts and 
many puzzling questions still unanswered. For example, was 
the chorus supported by the piano at the rehearsals? If so, 
who was the accompanist? No mention is made of one. In the 
informal gatherings, did Brahms improvise accompaniments to 
the folksongs? How much we should like to know about such 
details ! 

- 73 - 

But, in substance, the diaries, letters, and other 
written accounts agree. One of the Volckers' St immenhefte 
contains a letter from Bertha Porubsky in which she has in- 
scribed the first bars of the song; "Oh God, how sad is 
parting," followed by an expression of her own feelings when 
she left Hamburg: 

"How hard has been my parting from a circle in which I found 
so much love 

And, in Marie Volckers' own words, the years 1859 to 
1863 evoked "beautiful memories" and the Frauenchor was "a 
source of pure joy" to the members and to Brahms. 

As a conclusion to the records of the Hamburger Frauen- 
chor , Friedchen Wagner's Memoirs serve very well. One 
passage shows the warm friendship that existed between her 
and Brahms: 

"During one of the last lessons before he left for Vienna, I 
asked him to write something for me as a souvenir and he 
promised me to do so. Since I preferably played things by 
Bach under him, he chose a chorale melody, elaborated by him 
(also for the organ). Traurigkeit , Herzeleid. He did 
not give it to me during the lesson, however, but promised 
that I should soon have it. It was very hard for me to say 
goodbye to him; I had so very much to thank him for. As I 
was very sad, I did not open the piano for some days, but 
when I did open it again, I found there the beautiful gift I 
had been promised: the marvellous chorale prelude to 
Traurigkeit , Herzeleid. My maid told me that Herr Brahms 
had put it in the piano himself." 

Another recalls the beginnings of the Hamburger Frauen- 
chor and some of her most vivid memories: 

"While I was taking lessons from Brahms I asked him one 
morning -- since my two sisters and I often sang together -- 
to compose folksongs for that purpose, which he was very 
willing to do. After a short time, several young ladies came 
to take part in the singing, and thus gradually a women's 
chorus was formed in my parent's house. Rehearsals took 
place every Monday morning at 10 o'clock and Brahms composed 

- 74 - 

a number of folksongs for us. The chorus grew to twenty 
members and gave great pleasure to Brahms and us. 

"The very numerous statutes which Brahms worked out are still 
in existence. We members received a neat insignia which was 
made of pure silver, particularly beautifully made. The 
letters B. F. C. were on three circles. 

"My sister Thusnelda and I, Laura Garbe and Marie Renter were 
always present. We sang several times in church, the last 
time in St. Peter's, under his leadership. Often also out- 
side the city in Hamm, at the Volckers'in the Schwarzenstrasse. 
Marie Volckers was also a pupil of Brahms. At the end of the 
Volckers' garden, somewhat elevated, stood an arbor in which 
some of the members of the chorus sang together with me and 
my sister Thusnelda Hiibbe. In the evenings, after the re- 
hearsals, Brahms always played for us and then accompanied 
us home. One evening, several members of the chorus had 
assembled in the garden and, since we were all in a very 
happy mood, we went to an inn and sang there more songs." 

Friedchen's statements of fact do not agree word for 
word with other accounts but memories, after all, are not 
daily recordings. To one who has reached middle age, the 
events of the past merge into one another. One cannot re- 
member whether one had a pleasant evening this summer or that. 
Her impressions, however, correspond to everyone else's who 
shared those happy experiences. 

75 - 



-♦ '>,U 




Title page of Camilla's new song-book (see p. 78) 


AFTER 1863 

When Franziska Meier married and went to live in Cuxhaven, 

she was determined to organize a women's chorus there. Her 

first problem was to get copies of the music sung by the 

Hamburger Frauenchor . Her reminiscences in the Jahrhuch of 

1902 explain her first step in overcoming this difficulty: 

"My sister Camilla asked Brahms whether he had any objection 
to our singing the folksongs and choral songs by him in our 
little chorus in Cuxhaven. She received the following most 
gracious letter." 

Dear Fraulein: 

Permit me to write you somewhat hastily and briefly 
that I do not begrudge you any of the things you wish, which 
you yourself can get together. 

I myself do not possess a single note and do not know 
who may have saved anything. 

Unfortunately, my unsettled life prevents me from 
guarding the memory of lovely musical and sociable pleasures. 

The fbl lowing pieces have been published: the Harfen- 
lieder , Ave Maria, and in the near future will appear some 
sacred songs, Adoramus , Bone Jesix, and Salve Regina. 

Give my regards to all of you ... 

J. Brahms 

In 1865, Franziska could not genuinely have regarded 
this as a "gracious letter". Nor did others who read it. 
Some of Brahms' biographers have used it as proof that he 

- 76 - 

attached no value to the women's chorus in Hamburg or to the 
music he composed for it. Seen in the light of his dis- 
appointment in Hamburg, however, the indifferent tone of the 
letter is clearly explained. It was certainly far from the 
truth that he did not "possess a single note" of the music 
he had written for women's voices. At that very time, he 
was negotiating with different houses for its publication. 
Obviously, he was still too angry with his Hamburg contempo- 
raries to help even his loyal friends. 

With characteristic energy, Franz iska and Camilla made 
new copies of the Stimmenhefte, writing out the complete 
parts of the songs. Both music and words in these books is 
clear and legible, in contrast to the writing in the old 
Stimmenhefte , which is extremely difficult to decipher. 

According to Anna Lentz, the thinner script with the 
open half-notes was the work of Camilla. The volume marked 
Franziska Lentz, Versammlung No. 3, contains a verse by 

In treuer Liebe abcopiert 
Und meinem Franzchen dedicirt , 
ytenn mir ein Fehler dr in passirt 
Irn Schwester liebe subtrahirt 

Copied out in the spirit of true love 
And dedicated to my little Franziska, 
If there should be a mistake, 
Sister love will subtract it! 

In the books written by Franziska, there are charming 
examples of her "sister love": drawings to illustrate their 
favorite songs. Franziska' s daughter, Anna Lentz, gave the 
interpretation and wrote the captions for us on the page 
opposite the sketch. 

- 77 - 

1. Beginning in the upper left hand corner of the page, 
the girl and boy sitting near the spider-web illustrate one 
of the Romances of Op. 44, No. 7. 

Nun stehen die Rosen in Blute 

Da wirft die Lieb ein netzlein aus . 

The red, red roses are blooming 
And Love again his snare has set. 

2. The little man, with knapsack and outstretched hand, 
depicts Ich fahr dahin , an old folksong in which the young 
man, as he goes away from home, trusts his heart to his 
dearest wife, begging her to remain in her cottage and be 
true to him. 

"The day has come, when thou and I, 
My dearest, one must say good-bye, 
I leave my heart behind with thee. 
So far away; but it must be! 
Ear, far away; far, far away." 

3. At the bottom of the page, on the left hand side, a 
boy stands looking at a tall tree which, in the sketch, winds 
from the bottom to the top of the page. He is thinking of 
the times he went to the forest of Oden with his loved one 
and listened to the birds sing. 

Es steht ein Baum in Odenwald 

There stands a tree in Oden wood 

4. Then turning to the bottom of the right hand side, a 
singer stands with his guitar. On account of the carnations, 
Anna Lentz thought that Schumann' s 3 part song. Op. 29, No. 2, 
was intended. 

In meinem Garten die Nelken 

The pinks that bloomed in my garden, 
Are turning pale and wan, 
Roses have faded and withered. 
Since you are gone. 

- 78 - 

The Three Crows, see p. 24 

The Letter, see p. 27 

The Visit to the Music Stores, see p. 40 

The Organ, see p. 41 

The Medal, see p. 56 

5. Above, a rather belligerent looking girl laments 
that the thistles and thorns sting no more than the false 
tongues gossipping about her. The folksong is Sfein Schatz 
ist auf die Wanderschaft . 

My lover is away, wandering. 

6. Next, a maiden is weeping about her sad heart. 

Me in Herzlein thut mir gar zu weh! 

My heart is so sad. 

And last, at the top right hand corner, Franz iska has 
drawn two lovers galloping away on horseback. This is Der 
Brautigam (The Bridegroom), Op. 44, No. 2. 
My love to me is singing, 
'Come ride with me away' ! 

The other page o-f drawings illustrates some of the girls' 
activities in connection with Brahms and the F r auenchor . 
They have already been explained on pp. 24, 27, 40, 41 and 

In Cuxhaven, Franziska not only organized the chorus 

but conducted it herself. Anna's letter of July, 1935, to 

me, written in her own English, gave some interesting 

details : 

"TTie choir of my mother in Cuxhaven was not so very important 
and, as far as I know my mother let never sing in public, 
because the members had little practice, and sang only for 
enthusiasm. It kept up a good deal of years interrupted by 
the childbeds of my mother. She had ten children, but the 
difficulties were great because the members were not at all 
accustomed to read notes, had domestic duties, and in the 
storm, Cuxhaven with bad roads, in the old times they had 
much trouble to assist the practices. In the beginning, my 
mother had to write all the Stimmenhefte herself, until 
gradually the ladies learned to write them. The first 
exercises were when I was a baby, 68 years ago, and I have 
often been disturbing the singing by crying aloud. Later, 
my mother had founded a second choir in the 80' s in which I 
and three sisters joined." 

- 79 - 

In the meantime, Brahms himself had been carrying on 
with another women's chorus. When he went to Vienna in 1862, 
he found some of his Hamburg friends already there. Karl 
Gradener was organist at the Evangelical Church and also 
professor at the Conservatory of the Gesel Ischa ft der 
Musikfreunde . Through Gradener, Brahms met the von As ten 
famiJ-y. Frau Schuttenmayer von Asten lived in Gundelhof with 
her three daughters, Marie, Julie, and Anna. When Clara 
Schumann was in Vienna, she always stayed with them and gave 
Julie piano lessons. Brahms now took over the young lady as 
pupil and went to the von Astens several times a week. One 
day, he happened to say that he missed the Hamburger Frauen- 
chor . Whereupon, Julie and Anna (who later became a singing 
teacher at the Berlin Hochschule) invited several ladies from 
the Singverein to their house and so organized a small women's 
chorus to be conducted by Brahms. These women were good 
musicians and all had wonderful voices. Several of them sang 
in concerts. Karoline Bettelheim, Ottilie Hauer, Marie 
Geisler, and Frau Anna Franz, nee Wittgenstein, belonged to 
the group and became life-long friends of Brahms. Through 
them, he was introduced to many people of influence in the 
musical world. 

In April, 1863, the von Asten chorus gave a concert for 
invited guests at which they sang six of Brahms compositions 
for women's voices. 

In December, he composed a Salve Regina for the chorus, 
in which he challenged the skill of these expert singers. 
The solo voices have an extremely difficult canon to sing 
while the chorus breaks in with its Halleluia. The Salve 
Regina was published in 1866 with Adoramus and Bone Jesu 
(of Hamburg days) as Op. 37 and immediately attracted the 
attention of critics. A Catholic paper commented upon the 
"spiritual, serious, and artistically wonderful" quality of 

- 80 - 

the music: high praise for a Protestant composer who might 
easily have offended those with scruples about an unorthodox 
use of liturgic texts. 

Julie, Anna, Marie von As ten and their friends kept up 
their chamber music for a year or more. Anna took lessons 
from the well-known singer Pauline Viardot-Garcia. One 
summer, Anna and her other pupils asked Brahms to write them 
a serenade that they might celebrate their teacher's birth- 
day. This he did and conducted the performance by the young 
ladies outside Mme. Viardot's house early in the morning. 
Friedlander says that the three part folksong Da unten im 
Tale (Down in the Valley) was placed at the disposal of 
Julie and Anna for this occasion but unfortunately he gives 
no hint as to the musical setting of the folksong in a 
Serenade. ^^ 

While in Vienna, Brahms renewed his friendship with 
Bertha Porubsky, who had married Artur Faber. When their 
second child was born, Brahms sent her his famous lullaby 
Guten Abend f Gute Nacht, reminiscent of the lovely folksongs 
she used to sing in Hamburg when she was visiting her aunt 
Augusta Brandt and singing in the Frauenchor . The melody of 
one of her favorite waltzes was incorporated into the piano 
accompaniment . 

Later, Bertha organized a chorus which met in her house. 
It was both a mixed and a women's chorus, conducted by 
Eusebius Mandyczewski . Many of Brahms* compositions were 
sung by the " Faber-Chor". 

In Vienna, the aristocrats were real lovers of music. 
Some women belonged to several choruses and went from house 
to house, singing for many hours a week. Mandyczewski was 
popular as a conductor of these groups and devoted years of 
his life to collecting, editing, and also composing music 

- 81 - 

for women to sing. In 1892, he married Albine von Vest, a 
singing teacher and also a conductor of a women's chorus of 
her own. After their marriage, Mandyczewski fell heir to 
Albine's chorus and, together, they kept it up for many years. 
Much of their knowledge about choral literature for women 
was passed on to Margarete Dessoff, who then brought it to 
New York where she came after the First World War and founded 
the Adesdi Choir. 

Mandyczewski shared Brahms* interest in canons. The 
two friends carried on a voluminous correspondence as to 
the best way of scoring them. In one letter to Brahms, 
Mandyczewski made a Joke on the text of "Heaven-born Morpheus" 
-- the God of Sleep. He changed the name to "Orpheus" -- God 
of Singers. "Heaven-born Orpheus, where are the parts to 
the Canons? I need them next Monday, since we wanted to 
sing them in Purkersdorf, and without canons, it is no fun. 
I know well that you do not approve of it, but I would like 
to ask, if I might softly come into the apartment and look 
there for the Canons." ^^ He wanted the Canons for the 
singing society he conducted in Frau von Hornbostel's house 
at Purkersdorf. She was the former Helene Magnus, a pupil 
of Stockhausen and an excellent interpreter of Brahms' songs. 
Brahms often went to the von Hornbostels and sometimes 
attended the rehearsals of the women's chorus. The first 
time he came, he was surprised to hear the text of the folk- 
song about an imaginary little man, who brought candy to 
good children and switches to bad ones, transformed as 

Villa, villa, vill, Herr Brahms is coming. 
Villa, villa, vill, what does he bring? 
Villa, villa, vill, such lovely canons 
Villa, villa, vill, for us, tonight, to sing. ^^ 

Frau von Hornbostel and Mandyczewski had developed the 
chorus to a pitch approaching perfection. They agreed with 

- 82 - 

Brahms that "Canon singing is, above all, a social enter- 
tainment and must be able to be improvised. They are not 
adapted for large choruses ..." ^ 

It was probably the virtuosity of this group that led 
to the selection of thirteen canons for Op. 113. In a letter 
to the publisher, Brahms wrote: 

"Op. 113 is an opus for which I have special fondness and 
special wishes. First, I wish to call attention to the fact 
that these are not difficult canons -- but that they are 
amorous, innocent little verses which ought to be easily and 
gladly sung by beautiful girls. I think that private 
quartette singing has come into fashion partly through my 
efforts in that line and I wish that the same may become 
true with regard to the singing of canons." 

Brahms certainly succeeded in making the canons attractive 
for small groups. Nos . 3 and 4 of Op. 113 are familiar folk- 
songs "What bird is that in the pine-tree there" and 

"Sleep baby sleep." They are simply enough arranged for 
children to sing. One never tires of the others, composed 
with such technical skill including the use of double canons, 
inversions, and canons in contrary motion. No. 13 of Op. 113 
is especially interesting -- "Love ever sings the same sad 
song. " The form of it is like that of the old 13th century 
round, "Sumer is a 'cumen in." Four sopranos sing a canon 
and two altos imitate each other as a foundation for the 
composition making a double canon. As an added charm, the 
melody is Der Leiermann by Schubert. And indeed, all the 
canons have lovely melodies. Brahms never sacrificed beauty 
of tone to form but gave each one a lyric impulse that makes 
them delightful to sing. Best of all is March Night, No. 12 
of Op. 44. 

Hark! the March wind is roaring, 

The torrents are gushing to-night, hark! 

Shyly filled with delight 

Loveliest Spring-time is near! 

- 83 - 

It is in strict canon form throughout but the whole mood 
of the song changes with the last two lines. It becomes a 
romance of unexpected brilliance; for that reason, probably, 
it became one of the Lieder und Romanzen , Op. 44. 

March Night had been in the repertoire of the Hambttrger 
Frauenchor with the canons Nos . 1, 2, 8, 10, 11, 12 of Op. 
113. On the page upon which No. 12 is written in Marie 
Volckers' Stimmenheft is the date 1868. Marie and her friends 
evidently did enjoy " private quartette singing" long after 
Hamburg days . 

In Op. 113, Nos. 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 13 belong to the 
Vienese period: 

3. Sitzt a schons Vogerl; folksong text and melody a 4. 
What bird is that in the pine-tree there? 

4. Schlaf, kindle in , schlaf; folksong text and melody 

a 3. 
Sleep, baby, sleep. 

5. Wille, wille, will; folksong text and melody a 4 
The man is coming. 

6. So lange Schonheit; text by Hoffman von Fallersleben 

a 4. 
As long as beauty shall enthrall. 

7. Wenn die Klange; text by J. von Eichendorff a 3. 
Sounds of music sweetly swelling. 

8. An' s Auge des Liebsten; text by F. Riickert a 4. 
The eyes of the lovers cling and cleave to one 


13. Einformig ist der Liehe Gram-, text by Riickert a 6. 
Love ever sings the same sad song. 

- 84 - 

Other canons for women's voices not included in Op. 113 
or Op. 44 are: 

1. Mir lachelt kein Fruhling; composed before 1881. 
Spring does not smile for me. 

2. 0, wie sanft die Quelle; posthumous 

how slow the waters flow, thru the meadow winding. 

3. Grausam erweiset , not the same of Op. 113, No. 2. 

4. Wann , warm? Warm hort det Himmel] composed in 1885. 
When, when, when will Heaven send protectors 
From all these autograph collectors? 

Soon after Brahms became director of the Singakademie , 
a special Brahms' Abend was held on April 17, 1864. The 
women members of the chorus performed Ave Maria, Op. 12. 
Vineta, Op. 42, No. 2, was also in the programme without the 
other numbers of Op. 42. It seems probable, therefore, that 
Brahms* original setting of Vineta for four women's voices 
was given, rather than his arrangement of the romance for 
mixed voices. During the first ten years of Brahms' stay in 
Vienna, several performances of his compositions for women's 
chorus took place there and in other cities. (See Appendix G) 

Except for possibly two canons, the last composition 
Brahms wrote for women's voices was an arrangement of 
Schubert's Ellen's Zweiter Gesang, Op. 52, No. 2 for soprano 
solo, chorus of sopranos, 1st and 2nd altos, accompanied by 
four horns and two bassoons. It was performed at a Gesell- 
schaft concert on March 23, 1873. The text is Ellen's second 
song in Scott's poem " Lady of the Lake". 

Huntsman rest! Thy chase is done 
While our slumbrous spells assail ye, 
Dream not, with the rising sun. 
Bugles here will sound reveille. 

- 85 - 

Sleep, the deer is in his den 
Sleep, thy hounds are by thee lying 
Sleep nor dream in yonder glen 
How thy gallant steed lay dying. 

Brahms* enthusiasm for wind instruments as suitable 
accompaniment for women's voices is quite remarkable. One 
of his very early compositions, dated 1856, was the canon 
Spruch for soprano and horn. At that time, Brahms probably 
played the horn himself, taught by his father, but who sang 
the soprano part? In 1860, he wrote Op. 17, Four Songs with 
Harp and Horns, and finally, about 1873, he composed the 
setting for "The Lady of the Lake". He must have found 
fascination in the combination of sounds. 

Taken as a whole, Brahms' choral works for women excel, 
in both volume and in significance for the singers, those of 
other nineteenth century composers. Brahms offered a greater 
number of compositions to women's choruses than Schubert or 
Schumann, more even than the prolific Gustav Hoist of the 
twentieth century. 

Into the choral literature for women which was rapidly 
developing " in pari passu" with the choruses themselves, 
Brahms incorporated a reform made necessary by some of the 
followers of Mendelssohn with their sentimental and insipid 
style. Brahms had strong romantic tendencies but he avoided 
the danger of sentimentality by mixing his romanticism with 
the austerity of the old masters of polyphony. His major 
works for women are remarkable for the compelling way in 
which the classic style merges with the romantic. 

Then, too, he forged ahead of his contemporaries by 
providing women with choral music that is related to their 
experiences and at the same time has religious import. 

- 86 - 

Brahms generally, although not always, selected texts which 
gave women the feeling that they were in an active relation 
to life. The religious music has this quality, especially 
the Ave Maria, which is like a tableau, or a little drama. 
The women answer each other in antiphonal choirs, as if 
different groups of worshippers were in reality approaching 
the image of the Virgin. As they make their eternal invo- 
cation Ora pro nobis: "Pray for us", the singers are them- 
selves the suppliants. 

For the secular music, Brahms depended upon folksongs 
and upon the Romantic poets who derived their basic material 
from our rich heritage of myth and legend in which women had 
played an important part. In folklore, many work songs, 
lullabies, love songs, wedding songs, and dirges are created 
by women and imitations or accounts of women workers, lovers, 
brides, mothers, and mourners fill the poetry of nineteenth 
century men. The Dirge for Trenar, Op. 17, No. 4, was a 
particularly appropriate choice of text for a women's chorus, 
since dirges form the largest group of women's songs, partly 
because of the ancient belief that women brought about the 
rebirth by wailing and singing. Brahms' treatment of the 
chorus and instruments was the very antithesis of the eight- 
eenth and nineteenth century conception of female choral 
singing. Instead of the dulcet tones of repressed young 
misses in a drawing-room, the music calls for the harsh, deep 
sounds of mature women expressing grief in an attitude that 
has been a religion with women since the dawn of history. 

Some of the biographers intimate that Brahms placed no 
importance upon the music he wrote for the women's choruses 
but that he used the compositions merely as studies for 
larger works. If Brahms had published none of his com- 
positions for women's chorus, this suggestion might have 
value. He did, however, publish opuses 12, 17, 27, 37, 44. 

- 87 - 

and 113, which are complete in themselves, beautiful and 
satisfactory. All of Brahms* biographers agree that he re- 
leased no music that he regarded as unimportant or with 
which he was not thoroughly satisfied. 

Everybody recognized Brahms' craving for perfection in 
his art and an appealing example of this characteristic of his 
has come from Kurt Sauermann, Friedchen Wagner's son. When 
Kurt was about 11 years old, his mother took him to hear 
Brahms conduct his 3rd Symphony at the Philharmonic Concert 
in Hamburg. After the concert, Kurt and his mother waited 
outside to congratulate Brahms. 

"How did it go?" asked Brahms. 
"Oh, fine! "was the boyish answer. 

And then Brahms said: 

"But it must become still better, must it not, still better?" 

88 - 

A - Lists of music contained in the Stimmenhefte. 

B - The other compositions for women's chorus. 

C - List of the poets. 

D - Editions of Brahms' compositions for women in the Drinker 
Choral Library. 

E - Lists of the Brahms' manuscripts in the Stimmenhefte . 

F - Names of some of the members of Grimm's chorus in 
Gott ingen . 

G - Dates of the composition, first publication, and some of 
the performances in Brahms' lifetime of his music for 
women's chorus. 

H - References and Index. 

- 89 

Appendix A 
List of Music in the Stimmenhefte 

I. Twenty- five compositions for women's chorus subsequently 

1. Op. 12 Ave Maria for S.S.A.A. with organ or instru- 
mental accompaniment. (strings, two flutes, two 
oboes, two clarinets, two bassoons, two horns.) 
(see index. ) 

The Ave Maria, or Hail Mary, as an accepted devo- 
tional formula, cannot be traced before about 1050. 
It occurred in the Little Office, or Cursus, of the 
Blessed Virgin Mary which just at that time was coming 
into favor among the monastic orders. The words, 
however, are found in a Syriac ritual, 513, and also 
in the Liber Antiphonarius of St. Gregory the Great 
as the offertory of the Mass for the 4th Sunday of 
Advent. The first verse consists of the salutation 
of the angel Gabriel, Luke 1-28: 

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. 
Blessed art thou among women. 

The second part is taken from the greeting of Eliza- 
beth, Luke 1-42: 

And blessed the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. 

The third sentence is stated by the catechism of the 
Council of Trent to have been framed by the Church: 

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now 
and at the hour of our death. Amen. 

The official recognition of the Ave Maria in its 
complete formwas finally given in the Roman Breviary, 

- 90 - 

2. Op. 17 Songs with horns and harp for S.S.A. 

1. Es tont ein voller Harfenklang (see p. 50) 

2. Koinm herhei , Tod (see p. 50) 

from Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night", Act II, 
Scene 4. The (ierman translator was A. W. Schlegel. 

3. Der Gartner (see p. 50) 

4. Gesang aus Fingal (see p. 50) 
"Fingal"was the name of a song cycle supposed to 
have been composed by one Ossian, an Irish hero 
of the third century. The Gaelic material, the 
bulk of which was collected in the eleventh 
century, appealed to James MacPherson (1736-96). 
He was among the first to utilize old verses for 
his own purposes. Writing in English about 
Ossian and his companions, he claimed to have 
translated portions of the Gaelic epic and pro- 
duced his work as original. The Gesang aus Fingal 
is a dirge for Trenar, the lover of the maiden of 
Inistore. The name of the German translator is 
unknown . 

3. Op. 37 Sacred Choruses for S.S.A. A. (see p. 19) 

1. Bone Jesu 

An old ecclesiastical form of prayer, derived 
from the Bible text of Luke XVII, 13, "Jesus, 
Master, have mercy on us"; and of I Peter I, 19, 
"But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a 
lamb without blemish and without spot." 

2. Adoramus 

A versicle and antiphon from the Roman Breviary 
for the festival of the discovery of the Holy 
Cross, celebrated on May 3. 

- 91 - 

We adore thee, Christ, and we bless Thee, for 
through Thy Holy Cross, Thou hast redeemed the 
world. Thou, who suffered for us, have pity 
upon us , Lord . 

Op. 44 Twelve Songs and Romances for S.S.A.A. and 
piano ad lib. (see p. 63-65) 

1. Minnelieri (Der Holdseligen Sonder Wank) 

2. Der Brautigam 

3. Barcarole 

4. Fragen 

5. Die MiJllerin 

6. Die Nonne 

7. Nun stehen die Rosen 

8. Die Berge sind spitz 

9. Am Wildbach 

10. Und gehst du uber den Kirchhof 

11. Die Braut (see below) 

12. Marznacht 

William Miiller, author of Die Braut, made the 
following interesting notes on his poem. There 
was an old custom in the Riigen peninsula, sur- 
viving from matriarchal times. A daughter was 
allowed to inherit property and was also allowed 
the privilege of choosing her own husband. When 
she was ready to marry, she would hang an apron 
from her window. At this sign, all the marriage- 
able young men would file past her house to be 
inspected. The bride announced her choice by 
sending the young man a silken scarf and he gave 
his consent by accepting the gift. In the case 
of the bride in this poem, her lover was drowned. 
She tells her mother that the blue apron (the 
color blue being a symbol of the sky goddess) 
she was about to hang out will be faded white by 

- 92 - 

her tears. Instead of rejoicing as a bride she 
must mourn as a widow and sit, bowed with grief, 
in the special place assigned to widows in the 
church. (see Ophiils p. 488) 

5. Op. 113 Thirteen Canons (see p. 120) 

1. Gottlicher Morpheus a 4 

2. Grausam erweiset a 3 

8. Ein Gems auf dem Stein a 4 

10. Leise Tone der Brust a 4 

11. Ich weiss nicht , v/as im Main die Taube girret a4 

12. Wenn Kwnmer hatte zu tod ten a 3 

Psalm 13, Op. 27, is the only published composi- 
tion missing in the Stimmenhefte . It must have 
been in another book, not yet located, 
(see p. 28 and 45) 

II. Seven original songs, here for women's voices, which 
were subsequently arranged by Brahms for mixed chorus or 
for solo voice with piano. 

1. Todtenklage or In stiller nacht for S.S.X. and 
S.S.A.A. {Deutsche Volks lieder fur vierst immige 
Chor No. 8) (49 Deutsche Volks lieder No. 42) 

Those women's choruses which now sing an arrangement 
from the version for mixed voices should look to 
the original settings for women. For many years 
Brahms passed his composition off as a folksong. 
Later in his life, he conceded that the melody was 
his own. The poem is attributed to the Jesuit poet 

2. Vineta (Op. 42, No. 2) for S.S.A.A. (see p. 52) 

- 93 - 

3. Sonntag: So hab ich doch die game Woche (Op. 47 
No. 3) for S.S.A. 

4. Es geht ein Wehen (Op. 62 No. 6) for S.S.A. A. (see 
p. 66) 

5. Vergangen ist mir Gluck und Heil (Op. 48 No. 6) 
(Op. 62 No. 7) for S.S.A. A. 

6. Der Gang zum Liebchen; Es glanzt der Mond (Op. 48 
No. 1) (Op. 31 No. 3) for S.S.A. A. 

7. Maria's Kirchgang (Op. 22 No. 2) for S.S.A. A. 
(see p. 21) 

This Marienlied poem is in Kretschmer-Zuccalmaglio 
II, 47 (see bibliography) and in F. L. Mittler's 
Deutsche Volkslieder , p. 308 (Leipsig 1855) 

The other Mar ienlieder (poems) known to have been 
sung by the Hamburger Frauenchor but not written in 
any of the Sti/Timenhe/te at hand, may be found in the 
following books: 

Der Englische Gruss in Kretschmer II 268 and 
Mittler 292. 

Der Jager in Des Knaben Wunderhorn by A. von 
Arnim and C. Brentano (Heidelberg 1806) and in 
Mittler p. 292. 

Ruf Zu Maria in Mittler p. 297; in F. M. Bohme's 
Altdeutsches Liederbuch No. 591 (Leipsig 1877). 

Mary Magdalene in L. Uhland's Alte hoch und 
nieder deutsche Volkslieder p. 846 (Stuttgart 
1845), and in Wackernagel* s Das deutsche 
Kirchenlied p. 75 (Stuttgart 1841). 

Maria's Lob in Kretschmer-Zuccalmaglio II, 270. 

- 94 - 

III. One original part song for women's voices, arranged by 
Brahms from a solo song previously composed. 

Mein Schatz ist nicht da (Op. 14, No. 8) for S.S.A. 
and S.S.A. A. (see p. 71). 

IV. One original part song for women's voices, transposed 
by Brahms from his setting for men's voices. 

Ich schwing mein Horn (Op. 41, No. 1) for S.S.A. A. 

In Friedchen's notebook, there is written in her hand- 
writing under the 1st soprano part for this song: "original 
version for four men's voices". The only men's chorus, with 
which we know that Brahms had anything to do before 1859, was 
one which he had conducted at Winsen in 1847, when he was 14 
years old.* For this chorus, he wrote several pieces and 
probably this one. If this supposition be correct, this is 
the earliest composition by Brahms that we have. The song is 
in the style of the a capella period and the old melody with 
the words, dates back to 1519. Friedlander says that the 
song is allegorical, having been written by Duke Ulrich of 
Wiirttemberg, a mighty hunter, apropos of his not being per- 
mitted to marry his love, the Countess Elisabeth of Branden- 
burg, but instead the far from lovely Sabina, niece of the 
Emperor Maximilian; Sabina being the hare in the song. 


V. Two canons not published in Brahms' lifetime. 

1. Tone lindernder Klang for S.S.A. A. in G minor 
(see p. 73) 

2. Grausam erweiset for S.S.A. A. (not the same as 
Op. 113) (See Appendix D) 

VI. A short original part song, not published in Brahms' 

Dein Herzlein mild (not the same as Op. 62) (See 
Appendix D) 

- 95 - 

VII. Two unfinished compositions. 

1. Brautgesang (accompaniment lacking) 

2. Benedictus (probably without accompaniment. See 
Chap. Ill) A facsimile of the Benedictus forS.S.A.T. 
can be seen in Heineman' s collection, New York City. 


55 Folksongs 


First Line 



Ich fahr dahin 


Ade von hinnen 


Altes Liebeslied 

Mein Herzlein thut 
mir gar so weh 


A lies Lied 

Mein feines Lieb 


Das Lied vom 

Es stehen drei 

ei fersiichtigen 

Sterne am Hinunel 



Dauernde Liebe 

Mein Schatz ich 
hab' es er fahr en 


Der Baum 

Es steht ein Baum 
im Odenwald 


Der Bucklichte 

Es wohnet ein 




Der Gottesacker 

Wie sie so sanft 


Der Jager 

Bei nachtlicher 
Wei 1 


Der Ritt ztm 

Ich stand auf 


hohem Berge 


Der Fitter und 

Es stunden drei 

die Peine (MS) 

Rosen auf einem 


Der todte Gast 

Es pochet ein Knabe 


Der Traum (MS) 

Ich hab' die nacht 


Der verstellte 

Es ritt ein Re iter 


wohl durch das Ried 


Der Zimmergesell 

Es war einmal 


2nd voice only 

3 & 4 



- 96 - 


Des Marker a fin 

Es war ein Markgraf 

Tochter lein 

ijber'n Rhein 



Die Bernauerin 

Es r it ten drei 

Re iter zu Munchen 



Die Drei 

Es leuchte drei 

Kon igskinder 




Die Ent fijhrung 

Auf, auf , auf, 




Die schone Judin 

Es war eine schone 




Die verzauberte 

Nachtigall , sag, 

Nachtigall (MS) 

was fiir griiss 



Die Versuchung 

Feins 1 i ebchen , du 




Die wieder- 

Der Konig zog wohl 

ge fundene 

uber den Rhein 



Die Wollust in 

der Mai en 




Mit Lust that ich 

Voglein (MS) 




Erlaube mir 

Erlaube mir, feins 




Gang zur 

Des Abends kann ich 


nicht schlafen gehn 




Zu Frankfurt 



Gunhilde lebt gar 





Kein Feuer , Keine 



3 & 4 


Ich hort' ein 

rauschen (MS) 



Innsbruck, ich 

muss dich las sen 




Gar lieblich hat 

sich gesellt 



Liebestreu (MS) 

Es war en zwei 

Kon igskinder 


- 97 


Lied der 

Es ging sich unsre 





Me in g'muth ist 

see under Hasler 

mir verwirret 

(next section) 


Mein Schatz ist 
auf die Wander - 

schaft hin 




Ach , bin inn ig lich 


Minnelied or 

So will ich frisch 

A lies Lied 

und fr oh lich sein 



M or gen muss Ich 

fort von hier 



Pfaf fen sch lich 

Der Graf stand oben 



Ach Gott , wie weh 




Sind wir geschieden 




Dort in den Weiden 

3 & 4 


Schnitter Tod 

Es ist ein Schnitter 



Schwab is che 




Schwes ter lein , 

Schwesterlein (MS) 




Gut en Abend 




Wach auf, mein' s 

Herzen's Schone 



Tageweis' von 
einer schoner 

Wach auf, mein Hort 





Da unten im Tale 



Verstohlen geht 

der Mond auf 



Vor dem Fens ter 

Soil sich der Mond 



Wenn ich ein 

Voglein ware (MS) 

55. Zu Strassburg 
auf der Schanz 

- 98 - 

The German words to most of the folksongs can be found 
in Kretschmer-Zuccalmaglio. 

Nos . 3, 13, 14, 26, 35, 39, and 48 of my list have been 
published. (see Appendix D) 

Nos. 1, 3, 6, 8, 10, 11, 16, 17, 20, 28, 30, 31, 32, 33, 37, 
40, 42, 43, 47, 49, 50, 53 and 55 of my list have been trans- 
cribed from the Stimmenhefte and are now in our library with 
the other material which came from Germany. 

Nos. 3, 4, 5, 7, 14, 18, 20, 31, 32, 35, 37, 40, 43 and 55 
of my list were used only for women's voices and not in any 
other setting. No significance, however, can be attached to 
the fact, since they are not distinguished from the other 
songs by any characteristic of being more suitable for women 
than for other groups. 

The song Verstohlen geht der Mond auf is noteworthy on 
account of the fact that Brahms used the melody in his Sonata, 
Op. 1, and placed it as the last in his final version of the 
49 Folksongs, published in 1894. It was certainly one of his 
favorites. He gave it to his love, Agathe, to sing and he 
set it in three parts for the Hamburger Frauenchor . 

Verstohlen geht der Mond auf has an interesting history 
both from the point of view of women's fertility rites and 
of musicology. ^ Similar verses had long been sung by women 
who dressed flax. They stood in rows in front of the flails 
in order to begin the threshing. Then they sang: 

"Wo geht sich denn der Mond auf? 

Blau, blau Bliimelein! 
Obern Lindenhaum da geht er auf . 

B lumen im Tal , 
Madchen im Saal, 
0, du tapfre Rosa!" 

' 99 - 

Where, then does the moon rose? 

Blue, blue little flower! 
It mounts over the Linden tree 

Rose in the dale, 
Maid in the vale, 
0, fairest Rosa. 

The verse was repeated as many times as there were women 
present and the dwelling place of each one was indicated as 
the rising place of the moon. This singing game was 
originally a women's rite for prosperity and luck in their 
work. The allusion to the moon places it definitely in the 
category of ritual. Folklore of all peoples brings the moon's 
cycle and women into accord and associates blooming flowers 
with girls, never with boys. But 

"Wo geht sich denn der Mond auf , 
Ohern Lindenhaum da geht er auf." 

is not precisely the same as: 

"Verstohlen geht der Mond auf, 

dutch Silberwolkchen fuhrt sein Lauf." 

The poet-musician A. W. von Zuccalmaglio had changed it 
and improved it artistically, but then passed it off as a 
genuine folksong, calling it A It deutsches Minnelied. Probably 
he used the original folk melody as a basis for his revised 
version, just as he did with the song called Schwesterlein . 

Brahms took the song from Deutsche Volkslieder mit ihren 
Original Weisen, compiled by Zuccalmaglio and Kretschmer, 
the source book he used most frequently. 

It is surprising to learn that, for a long time, Brahms 
did not discover the song to be an invention of Zuccalmaglio* s 
and that he also used other verses composed by this ingenious 

- 100 - 




: ^ T Jt f : 


^ J J~~£ 

" " ■ j ar — ■I ' ^ ' - ■.■-■g | .»i. - -j^. m m j i — w ■■ - ' ( ^' - - 







£^ stunden drei Rosen in Brahms' handwriting. 

man in the belief that they were real songs of the people. 
In fact, of the so-called folksongs, which he set for women's 
voices, only a small proportion were genuine. These are: 

Die Schone Jiidin 

Er laube mir , feins Madchen 

Trennung (Da imten im Tale) 

The truth of the matter is that Brahms did not care whether 
the music was a genuine folksong or not. Child of his own 
times, he lived when many poets and musicians made cult of 
collecting folklore and using the old tales as inspiration 
for art, as grist to their own mills. Brahms followed the 
fashion himself when he took Spec's poem In Stiller Nacht , 
made his own melody and pretended it was a folksong. His 
attitude toward Zuccalmaglio was, therefore, one of tolerance 
and sympathy. It was not the exact history of every song 
that had significance for him, as he showed by his lack of 
interest in Ludwig Erk's monumental researches. It was 
rather the spirit in which the material was presented that 
appealed to him. Even after he knew that the "folksongs" 
he had selected were contemporary compositions, he did not 
discard them but merely made the comment: 

"Not really folk -music! Well, then we have one good composer 
the more.""^^ 

Es stuncien drei Rosen is a ballad telling the story of 
the Sleeping Beauty. Friedlander attributes both the text 
and the melody of this version to Zuccalmaglio. Brahms' 
musical setting is in imitation of the form used since time 
immemorial by choruses of men or women when they worked or 
when they entertained themselves. The leader sang the verse 
and the chorus joined in the refrain. Brahms arranged it 
first for three women's voices and later included it in his 
edition of 49 Folksongs. 

- 101 - 

Solo. .. .Three roses once grew on a single stem; 

Chorus. . . .Fair is the summer! 
Solo.... A nightingale merrily sang to them; 

Chorus. .. .Fair is the summer! 
Solo.... And under the blossoming rose-bush there 

Chorus. ... Fair is the summer! 
Solo.... Lay dreaming a maiden young and fair. 

Chorus. . . .Fair is the summer! 
Solo. . . .The knight rode by where the rose-bush grew, 

Chorus. ... Fair is the summer! 
Solo.... "And what, little horse, is it startles you?" 

Chorus. .. .Fair is the summer! 
Solo. .. ."What glimmers red in the grass and dew?" 

Chorus. .. .Fair is the summer! 
Solo.... "As pink as roses of the brightest hue?" 

Chorus. ... Fair is the summer! 
Solo.... What glorious tangle does he behold? 

Chorus. . . .Fair is the summer! 
Solo.... But curly locks of fine spun gold. 

Chorus. . . .Fair is the summer! 
Solo. .. .There slept the maid so fair to see, 

Chorus. ... Fair is the summer! 
Solo. .. .As pure as the day she was born is she. 

Chorus .... Fa ir is the summer! 

Brahms wrote in only six of the original twenty-six 
verses and omitted the part where the knight gave to Sleeping 
Beauty the magic kiss which brought about the rebirth. In 
many of the old legends, the text was often too crude for 
19th century taste. The complete poem is printed in Ophiils* 
Brahms Texte. 

Since Brahms' arrangements for women's voices are not 
musically outstanding, I have not attempted to give the 
source of every folksong. The principal value of his other 

- 102 - 

settings lies in the beautiful piano accompaniments which is 
lacking in the arrangements for the Hamburger Frauenchor . 
Brahms may have improvised on the piano when he spent the 
evening with the girls but he definitely intended the songs 
for home use, for the most informal kind of amateur music 
making, to be sung over sewing perhaps or in the garden. 
Readers interested in the history of folksongs will find de- 
tailed information in Friedlander ' s Brahms' Lieder . 

IX. The final category of music contained in the Stimmenhefte 

consists of thirty-two pieces by other composers, some 

arrangements, but most of them original. These show the 

repertoire of the Hamburger Frauenchor . 

Composer Title Parts 

Bach, J. S. Duo from Cantata 80, Einfeste Burg 2 

Duo from Cantata, Gottder Herr ist 
Sonn und Schild 2 

These duos are for S.B. , arranged for S.A. 

Bortniansky, D. Vespergesang 3 

Brambach, J. Fruh lings glaube 3 

Byrd, Wm. Non nobis, Domine 3 

Caldara, A. Mottette: Peccavi 3 

Eccard, J. Mar ienlied: Ubers' Gebirg Maria geht 5 

Brahms arranged this for women's voices from 
Eccard' s setting for mixed voices. 

Callus, J. Passions Gesang: Ecce quo modo 4 

Handel, G. F. Angel chorus from the Messiah 

Hasler, H. L. Ave Maria (or Liebesklage) 

Me in G'mut ist mir verwirret 4 

Haydn, J. M. Heilige Nacht 3 

Kuhlau, F. Nachtlied (Goethe) 4 

Lorenz, C. Ad. Die Sprode (Goethe) 

Lotti, A. Vere Languores 3 

Mendelssohn, F. ^e6e deine Augen (Lift thine Eyes) 

from Elijah 3 

- 103 - 









15 i ' ^si^ 

S^ i^"^ ^^ 





\ \ 




^ ^ 










; ^ 

^ \^ 

1 i 
> \ 

[ X 

! <i 




\ \ >i 

'h ^ V 
\ ^ n 





) H It! ^. 

Title page of one of Marie Volckers' books. 

Mendelssohn, F. Recitative and chorus from St. Paul 

Mozart. W. A. Ave Verum arr. by L. E. (unknown) 4 
Bei der still en Mondes He lien 3 

Mozart, W. A. Der Einsamkeit (Terzett) 

Duet from opera Titus Ade 2 

Palestrina Princeps Gloriosisime 4 

Gaude Barbara Beat a 4 

Schumann, R. VIenn ich ein Voglein ware (from 

Genoveva) 3 

Tambour in Op. 69 4 

Chorus of the Hour is from 

Paradise and The Peri 4 

Final chorus and solo from 

Paradise and The Peri 4 

Section from Faust 4 

Sicilian Folksong sanctissima 3 

Schalling, M. Chorale: Herzlich lieh hab ich 4 

Taubert, K. G. W. Ihr Kinder , erwacht! 

Theriot, F. Am Traunsee bass & chorus 

Witting, C. Fruhlingsruhe 3 

Zelter, K. F. Konig von Thule 3 & bass 

The compositions by Lorenz, Taubert, and Theriot were probably 
not used by Brahms but belong to the repertoire of the Cuxhaven 
chorus. They appear only in the Stimmenhefte written by the 
Meier sisters in 1865. 

On the title page of one of Marie Volcker's books are 
listed so many of the songs in the repertoire of the Hamburger 
Frauenchor that it seems justifiable to reproduce it. Here 
is the Benedictus and the Brautgesang; eight of the Romances 
of Op. 44; two motets of Op. 37; three numbers of the songs 
with harp and horns. Op. 17; four canons; Es geht ein Wehen; 
Dein Herzlein mild; Ich schwing mein Horn; Eccard's Marien- 
lied; thirty- five folksongs, including the famous Ich fahr 
dahin, Innspruch , and Verstohlen geht der Mond auf. Her 
fine, neat handwriting is still legible and is a sample of 
the work involved in the making of the Stimmenhefte . 

' 104 - 

Appendix B 
The Other Compositions for Women's Voices 

Op. 27 Psalm 13 for S.S.A, with organ (see pp. 28, 45) 

Op. 37 No. 3 Regina coeli for S.S.A. A. 

An antiphon of the Virgin Mary, sung in the Easter 
Festival at the end of the ecclesiastical horary 

Rejoice, Queen of the Heavens, divinely blessed of 
women. From the dead thy Son is risen, as was 
promised. pray for our Salvation. 

Op. 113 Canons 

Nos. 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 13 (see p. 84) 

Ellen's Zweiter Gesang for S. solo, S.S.A. with four horns 
and two bassoons. (see p. 85) 

105 - 

Appendix C 

List of Poets 
(see Ophiils' Brahms' Texte) 

Adalbert von Chainisso 1781-1838 

Die Muhle Op. 44 No. 5 (vol. I of Gesammelte Werke) 

Joseph Freiherr von Eichendorff 1788-1857 

Der Gartner Op. 17 No. 3 (from the novel Aus dem Lehen 
eines Taugenichts and from Gedichte) 

Der Bratttigam Op. 44 No. 2 (from the tragedy Der letztte 
Held von Marienburg IV, 2 and from Gedichte) 

Ein Gems auf dem Stein Op. 113 No. 8 (from the novel Das 
Schloss Durande and from Gedichte) 

Wenn die Klange Op. 113 No. 7 (from Gedichte , verse 3 of 

Hoffman von Fallersleben 1798-1874 

So lange Schonheit Op. 113 No. 6 (translated from the 
Greek in Gedichte Bd. I 249) 

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 1749-1832 

Gottlicher Morpheus Op. 113 No. 1 {Epigramme, No. 85) 

Grausam erweiset Op. 113 No. 2 {Vier Jahreszeiten; 
Sommer No. 19) 

Anastasius Griin 1806-1876 

Sagen Op. 44 No. 4 (translated from Slavic in Volkslieder 
aus Krain) 

Paul Heyse 1830-1914 

Nun Stehen die Rosen Op. 44 No. 7 

Die Bergs sind Sp>itz Op. 44 No. 8 

Am Wildbach Op. 44 No. 9 

Und gehst du uber den Kirchhof Op. 44 No. 10 

- 106 - 

Dein Herzlein mild 

Es geht ein Wehen Op. 62 No. 6 

(all from Der Jungbrunnen) 

Wilhelm Mailer 1794-1827 

Vineta Op. 42 No. 2 {Gedichte) 

Die Braut Op. 44 No. 11 (see p. 146) {Gedichte) 

Friedrich Riickert 1788-1866 
Ich weiss nicht Op. 113 No. 11 

(No. 43 Abth I der Ital. Gedichte Bd. V) 

Einformig ist der Liebe Gram Op. 113 No. 13 

{Hafisens Lieder , Ostliche Rosen. Bd. V Abth I) 

Wenn Kummer Op. 113 No. 12 and 

An's Auge des Liebsten Op. 113 No. 9 (both translated from 
the Arabian in Gesammelten Werken EM. II) 

Friedrich Ruperti 1805-1867 

Es font ein voller Har fenklang Op. 17 No. 1 
{Dunkles Laub , Jugend-Gedichte) 

Johann Ludwig Uhland 1787-1862 

Die Nonne Op. 44 No. 6 (Gedichte) 
Marznacht Op. 44 No. 12 (Gedichte) 
Fruhlingsruhe (Gedichte) 

Braut gesang (Gedichte) 

Johann Heinrich Voss 1751-1826 

Minne lied, Der Holdseligen Sonder Wank Op. 44 No. 1 
(Oden imd Lieder No. X) 

107 - 

Appendix D 

Edition with English words by Henry S. Drinker, 

Drinker Choral Library, Westminster Choir College, 

Princeton, New Jersey 

1. Seven Folksongs for S.S.A. and S.S.A.A. from the Hamburg 
Stimmenhefte. U. of P. Choral Series No. 74. 

a. Altes Lied. So will ich frisch und frohlich seyn. 

In happy hope my heart to-day with cheer and joy is 

b. Der Todte Gast . Es pochet ein Knabe sachte. 

A lover is gently tapping on his sweetheart's 

c. Ich hah' die Nacht getraumet . 
At night when I was dreaming. 

d. Altes Liebeslied . Me in Herzlein thut mir gar zu weh! 
My soul is filled with fear and woe! 

e. Es waren zwei Konigskinder . 

The Princess was watching the water. 

f. Spannung . Guten Abend, guten Abend, mein tausiger 
Schatz . 

God bless you this evening, beloved one mine. 

g. Drei Voglein. Mit Lust that ich ausreiten. 
While I was gaily riding. 

2. Six Marienlieder for S.S.A.A. U. of P. Choral Series 
No. 75. 

a. Der englische Gruss . The Angel's Greeting. 
All hail to thee, Mary, thou blest among women. 

b. Maria's Kirchgang. When Mary went to Church. 
When Mary once to church would go. 

c. Der Jager . The Hunter. 
A hunter went a' hunting. 

- 108 - 

d. Ruf zu Maria. Prayer to Mary. 

Mother of God, we cry to Thee. 

e. Magdelena . 

Early on that Easter morn. 

f. Maria's Lob. Praise to Mary. 
0, Mary, joy of Heaven bright. 

3. Eccard's Marienlieder . U. of P. Choral Series No. 75a. 

Uber's Gebirge Maria Geht . 
Over the mountain Mary went. 

4. Four Romances from Op. 44 for S.S.A.A. U. of P. Choral 
Series 72. 

a. No. 1 Minnelied . Love Song. 

To my darling one, strong and gay. 

b. No. 3 Barcarolle. 

0, fisher come thee hither, Fidelin. 

c. No. 4 Fragen. Questions. 

0, why have I long curly hair? 

d. No. 5 Die Mullerin. Maid of the Mill. 
The sails of the wind mill are sweeping. 

5. Three Romances from Op. 44 for S.S.A.A. U. of P. Choral 
Series 73. 

a. No. 2 Der Bravtigam. The Bridegroom. 
From every mountain sounding. 

b. No. 4 Nun stehen die Rosen. 

The red, red roses are blooming. 

c. No. 9 Am Wildbach. 

The willows by the water are waving night and day. 

6. Canon from Op. 44 for S.S.A.A. U. of P. Choral Series 
No. 66. 

No. 12 Marznacht . Night in March. 
Hark! The March wind is roaring! 

- 109 - 

7. Vineta for S.S.A.A. U. of P. Choral Series No. 21 

Aiis des Meeres tie fern, tie fern grande . 
Up from out the lowest depths of ocean. 

8. Es geht ein Wehen. U. of P. Choral Series No. 22. 

A sigh goes floating through the wood. 

9. Todtenklage or In Stiller Nacht . U. of P. Choral 
Series No. 23. 

Lament or In Dead of Night. 

10. Two Canons. U. of P. Choral Series No. 25. 

Tone, lindernder Klang. 
Music, however soft. 

Grausam erweiset (not Op. 113) 
Cruel, ah cruel. 

11. Dein Herzlein mild {not Op. 62) U. of P. Choral 
Series No 24. 

Thou gentle Heart. 

- 110 

Appendix E 
List of Brahms' manuscripts from the Volckers Stimmenhefte 

1. Der Herr erbarm sich wiser. 

"May the Lord have mercy on us!" 

This is the refrain sung by the chorus to the Lied 
der Geissel bruder , the first line of which is Es 
Ging sich unsre Fraue , "Our Lady was walking along." 

2. Die Verzauberte Nachtigall (see p. 70) 

3. Es stunden drei Rosen (see p. 101) 

4. Es waren zwei Konigskinder (see Drinker, U. of P. Choral 
Series 74) 

5. Ich hab' die Nacht getraumet (see Drinker, U. of P. 
Choral Series 74) 

6. Ich hort ein Sichlein rauschen. 

7. Mein lieb blau Blumelein; es muss geschieden sein. 

"My lovely little blue flower, we must be parted." is 
the refrain sung by the chorus to a song which begins 
Demm Hinmel will ich klagen. 

8. Mein Schatz ist nicht da (see p. 71) 

9. Schwesterlein. 

10. Tone, lindernder Klang (see p. 73) 

11. Und was sein Versprechen (Der Graf stand oben) 

"And his word will be broken" is the refrain to a 
song which begins "The Count stands up in his castle," 
called Pfaffenschlich. 

12. Wenn ich ein V ogle in ware (see p. 71) 

Brahms probably wrote the songs down in the Volckers' 
St immenhefte at the rehearsal or when he was spending the 
evening at their house, expecting the other girls to copy 
the lines off another time. 

- Ill - 

Appendix F 
Names of some of the women in Grimm's chorus in Gottingen 

Phippine Grimm, nee Ritmiiller 

Agathe von Siebold, m. Carl Schiitte 

Josephine von Siebold, m. Gabriel Wesley Dingle, Charleston, S.C. 

Helene, Emilie, and Pauline Wohler 

Fanny Wohler, m. Karl Bargheer, Detmold 

Bertha Wagner, also m. Karl Bargheer 

Sophie Wagner 

Hedwig Sauppe 

Marianna Hasse 

Mathilda Grupen, m. Philip Spitta, the Bach biographer 

Emma Henrici 

Elisabet Besser 

Helene Zachariae 

Therese Wedemeyer 

from Michelmann, Agathe von Siebold 

Letters or diaries of these women might reveal some in- 
teresting details about the choral singing of women. 

Karl Bargheer conducted the Schlosschor in Detmold. 

He was a composer of merit and wrote several pieces for 
women's chorus. The fact that he married two of the young 
women who had sung in Grimm's chorus at Gottingen explains 
his interest in music for women's voices. Most of the choral 
literature for women has had its origin in this way --by the 
immediate incentive of some particular group needing music. 

- 112 - 

Appendix G 

Dates of Composition, First Publication, and Some of 

the Performances in Brahms' Lifetime of his 

Music for Women's Chorus. 

Op. 12 Ave Maria 

a. Composed Gottingen, September 1858. 

b. First Publication: J. Rieter-Biedermann, 1861 
Gesamt-Ausgabe Bd. XIX. 

c. Performances: 

1. Hamburger Frauenchor . St. Peter's Church, 
June 8, 1859. 

2. Hamburger Frauenchor . St. Peter's Church, 
September 26, 1859. 

It is a question whether the singing in St. Peter's Church on 
September 19 should be called a performance or a rehearsal 
for the performance on September 26. There v/ere listeners 
present upon the 19th, but another rehearsal was held by the 
Hamburger Frauenchor on September 22 and still another on 
Sunday, the 25th. Both of these were clearly in preparation 
for the final concert on the 26th when the inkstand was 
presented to Brahms and the season closed. In any case, the 
first performance of the Ave Maria preceded the September 
dates and took place on June 8. 

3. Hamburger Frauenchor . Wormer's Hall 
December 2, 1859. 

4. Grimm's Frauenchor at Gottingen, January 15, 1860. 

5. Grimm's Frauenchor at Hanover, January 16, 1860. 

6. Bernard Scholz in Hanover. 

7. Brahms' Singakademie , Vienna, April 17, 1864 in the 
hall of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde . 

8. Women's Chorus at Krefeld, 1868. 

- 113 - 

Op. 17 Four Songs with Harp and Horns 

a. Composed Hamburg, 1860. 

b. First Published by N. Simrock, 1862. Gesamt- 
Ausgabe Bd . XIX. 

c. Performances: 

1. Hamburger Frauenchor at Gradener's Academy, 
May 2, 1860. (without No. 4, Fingal) 

2. Hamburger Frauenchor in Wormer's Hall, 
January 15, 1861. 

3. Hamburger Frauenchor at Altona, January 16, 1861. 

4. Wiener Singakademie , April 10, 1863. 

5. Ladies Choir in Basel, November 17, 1865 conducted 
by Direktor Reiter, Frau Reiter playing the harp. 

Op. 22 Marienlieder 

a. Composed Hamburg, June and July 1859 
(but not No. 3) 

b. First Published by J. Rieter-Biedermann, 1862, 
for mixed voices. Gesamt-Ausgabe Bd. XXI. 

c. Performances by women's voices: 

1. Hamburger Frauenchor . St. Peter's Church, 
September 26, 1859. Nos. 1, 2, 4, 5. 

Op. 27 Psalm 13 

a. Composed Hamburg, August 21, 1859. 

b. First Published by C. A. Spina, 1864. Gesamt- 
Ausgabe Bd . XX. 

c. Performances by: 

1. Hamburger Frauenchor , St. Peter's Church, 
September 26, 1859. 

2. Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde , Vienna, April 2, 1876. 

3. Women's Chorus in Miinster, November 9, 1878. 

4. At the Singakademie Concert, Vienna, March 11, 1885. 

Op. 37 Three Sacred Choruses 

a. Composed Nos. 1 and 2. Hamburg, May 1859. 
No. 3, Vienna, December, 1863. 

- 114 - 

b. First Published by J. Rieter-Biedermann, 1866. 
Gesamt'Ausgabe Bd. XXI. 

c. Performances by: 

1. Hamburger Frauenchor , Nos. 1 and 2, St. Peter's 
Church, June 8, 1859. 

2. Hamburger Frauenchor , Nos. 1 and 2, 
September 26, 1859. 

3. At Julie von Asten's house. No. 3, 1863. 

Op. 42 Vineta 

a. Composed Hamburg, April, 1860. 

b. First Published by Fr. Cranz , 1868, for mixed 
chorus. Gesamt'Ausgabe Bd. XXI.. 

c. Performances by: 

1. Singakademie (probably by the women only), 
April 17, 1864. 

Op. 44 Twelve Songs and Romances 

a. Composed Hamburg between 1859-1863. 

b. First Published by J. Rieter-Biedermann, 1866. 
Gesamt'Ausgabe Bd . XXI. 

c. Performances by: 

1. Hamburger Frauenchor , Nos. 1 and 2, Wormer's Hall, 
January 15, 1861. 

2. Ladies Choir in Basel, Nos. 1, 2, 4, 10, 
March 4, 1869. 

3. Singakademie, Vienna, Nos. 7, 8, 9, 10. 
March 11, 1885. 

4. Mandyczewski Chorus, Nos. 3, 11, Vienna, 
February 2, 1895. 

When offering Simrock the Romances for publication, 
Brahms wrote: 

"You know about the frequent performances of 
these songs and you have been asking for them". . , 

Did the von Asten group sing six numbers of Op. 44 at 
their private concert in April, 1863? 

- 115 - 

Op. 113 Thirteen Canons 

a. Composed Nos. 1, 2, 8, 10, 11, 12 
Hamburg 1859-1863. 

Date on No. 12: May 7, 1863. 

Nos. 6, 7, probably Dusseldorf, 1857-1858. 

Nos. 3, 4, 5, 9, 13, Vienna after 1863. 

b. First Published C. F. Peters, 1891. Gesamt- 
Ausgabe Bd. XXI. 

c. Performances by: 

1. Hamburger Frauenchor in private. 

2. Mandyczewski's von Hornbostel Women's Chorus at 
Purkersdorf, 1863. 

Ellen's Zweiter Gesang 

a. Composed probably Vienna 1873. 

b. First Publication: Deutsche Brahms 
Gesellschaft, Berlin 1906. Gesamt-Ausgabe 
Bd. XIX. 

c. First Performance: Gesellschaft Konzert, 
Vienna, March 23, 1873. 

While von Ehrmann's catalogue of the dates of the com- 
position, first publication, and first performance is as 
complete as it is possible to make it, the list of perform- 
ances of women's choral music during Brahms' s lifetime is far 
from satisfactory. 

How prevalent women's choruses were and how popular 
Brahms was with other conductors are both obscure subjects. 
Grimm's letter to Brahms in which he wrote: "With the three 
harp and horn songs, I cannot come to any understanding, nor 

some of the Jungbrunnen Lieder ^^ " may have reflected a 

widespread scepticism as to the value of Brahms' music even 
many years after 1860. If so good a musician and so warm a 
friend of Brahms* did not understand Op. 17 and Op. 44, Others 
may not have wanted to perform them either. Let us hope that 
more material on this phase of amateur music will come to 

- 116 - 

In our own times, when women's choruses have developed* 
so rapidly through the institutional support of public 
schools, colleges, and clubs, there is no doubt that Brahms' 
music ha& a large circulation. For women's choruses in the 
United States, the catalogue "Selected List of Choruses for 
Women's Voices" by Arthur W. Locke, Smith College, North- 
ampton, Massachusetts, is invaluable. In it, every available 
composition by Brahms, with the name of the publisher who 
handles it, is entered. 

- 117 - 

Appendix H 

1. Litzmann Letters July 3, 1859 

2. Memoirs of Friedchen Wagner 

3. Briefwechsel IV, p. 62 

4. Litzmann Letters, December 20, 1858 

5. Briefwechsel IV, pp. 76, 78, 83 

6. Hubbe, p. 20 

7. Kalbeck, I, 2 p. 361 

8. Briefwechsel, Simrock 1860 September IX p. 23 

9. Litzmann Letters, July 16, 1859 

10. Briefwechsel - Joachim I p. 248 

11. F. May, I p. 240 (aus von Meysenbug, /. Brahms' 

12. Hubbe, p. 22; also F. May, I p. 240 

13. Kalbeck, I, 2 p. 368 

14. Litzmann Letters: also Niemann, p. 70 

15. Niemann, p. 71 

16. Litzmann, Letters 

17. Litzmann, Letters 

18. Kalbeck, I, 2 p. 396 

19. Letter from Kurt Sauermann 

20. Hiibbe, p. 23; also F. May, I p. 241 

21. Briefwechsel, TV, p. 90 

22. Briefwechsel, Joachim I, p. 258 

23. Litzmann, Letters 

24. Briefwechsel, IV, p. 92 and 103 

25. Litzmann Letters, March 3rd, 1860 

26. Litzmann Letters, April 2, 1860 

27. Briefwechsel, Joachim I, p. 270 

28. Litzmann Letters 

29. German edition of the Avertimento: F. May, App. to 
Vol I; also Kalbeck, I, 2 p. 407 

- 118 - 

30. Hiibbe, p. 67 

31. Briefwechsel, IV, p. 101 

32. Litzmann, Clara Schumann II, p. 181 

33. Hiibbe, p. 32 

34. Elise Brahms' Letters, December 20, 1862. See Geiringer. 

35. Briefwechsel , Joachim I, p. 286 

36. Briefwechsel, IV, p. 101 

37. Briefwechsel, Joachim I, pp. 288, 309 

38. Litzmann, Clara Schumann, II p. 189 

39. Litzmann, Clara Schumann, Paris, April 27, 1862. II p. 207 

40. Kalbeck, I, 2 p. 442 

41. Kalbeck, I, 2 p. 442 

42. F. May, II, p. 31; also Friedlander, p. 210 

43. Geiringer, Correspondence of Brahms and Mandyczewski , 
p. 345 

44. Kalbeck, IV, 1, p. 221 

45. Kalbeck, IV, 1, p. 220 

46. Kalbeck, IV, 1, p. 220 

47. For songs attributed to women, see Drinker, Music and 
Women Chap. I, II, III 

48. Friedlander, p. 249 (refers to an article in the 
Kolnische Zeitung, December 5, 1847, entitled Volksfeste 
und alter tiimliche Volksbrauche Zwischen Wupper un Sieg 

and another article in Das fest 1 iche Jahr by Otto 
Freiherr von Reinsberg-Diiringsfeld p. 351, Leipsig, 
2nd edition) 

49. Friedlander, p. 203, note 1 

- 119 



Ahsen, Jenny von 19 

Albers, Lucy 29,31,36 

Albrecht, Hans 1, 4, 5 

Altona 68 

Alster, River 60 

Armbrust, G 37, 41 

Asten, Anna, Julie and Marie von 


Asten, Frau S. von 6, 80 

Ave-Lallement, Charlotte 56 

Ave-Lallement, Theodor 

10, 23, 26, 29, 31, 32, 35, 38, 39, 41, 59 

Avertimento 49, 53-55, 57 

Bach, J. S 10, 32, 35, 41, 67, 74, 103 

Bachmann, Auguste 57 

Badge, See Medal 

Bargheer, K 112 

Beethoven 31, 32 

Begeman, Ida 57 

Berlin Hochschule 80 

Bettelheim, Karoline 80 

Blankanese 58, 72 

Bohme's Music Store 41 

Bortniansky, D 103 

"Brahm-a-ho" 26, 35 

Brahmfeld's Store 36 

"Brahms' Academy" 38 

Brahms, Elise 38 

Brahms' father and mother 38 

Brahms, Johannes 
Letters to 

Grimm 15,51,57,58,61 

Joachim 23, 49, 52, 60, 61, 62 

Meier 76 

Meysenbug 23 

Porubsky 42, 46 

Schumann 9, 30, 43, 44, 45, 51-53 

Simrock 21, 83 

Volckers 69 

Wagner 42, 47 

Brahms' Manuscripts 

2, 3, 71, 73, 74, HI 
Brahms' Works with opus numbers 

op. 1 Piano Sonata 99 

op. 7 No. 4 Die Schimlble 39,41 

op. 1 1 Serenade 18, 40 

op. 12 Ave Maria 16, 17, 19, 20, 30, 

34, 35, 37, 38, 41, 44, 45, 47, 48, 76, 
87, 90, 113 

op. 13 Burial Song 15, 47, 48 

op. 14 No. 8 Mein Schatz . .13, 70, 71, 95 

op. 16 Serenade 49,58 

op. 17 Four Songs with Horns and 
Harp ...2, 50, 51, 57, 58, 67, 68, 76, 
86, 87, 91, 114 


op. 19 No. 2 Schciden und Mtidtn 

No. 3 In der Feme 13, IS 

op. 20 Three Duets 13,53 

op. 22 Six MaricnUeder . .6, 21, 22, 26, 

28, 32, 38, 40, 41, 45, 58, 60, 61. 62. 

94, 108, 114 

op. 27 Psalm 13 ... .6, 30-38, 41, 45, 47, 

105, 114 
op. 31 No. 3 Der Gang zum 

Liebchen 94 

op. 37 Three Sacred Choruses 

19, 20, 38, 41, 44, 76, 80, 91, 114 
op. 41, No. 1 Ich Schwing Mein 

Horn 95 

op. 42 No. 2 Vineta ....52, 85, 93, 107, 

110, 115 
op. 43 No. 1 Von ewiger Liebe . . 15 
op. 44 Twelve Songs and Romances 

57, 58, 63, 64, 65. 67, ?0, 83, 84, 
92, 106, 109, 115, 116 

op. 47, No. 3 Sonntag 70, 94 

op. 48 No. 1 Der Gang zum 

Liebchen 94 

No. 5 Trost in Tranen ... 46 

No. 6 Vergangen 94 

op. 49 No. 4 Guten Abend 81 

op. 62 No. 6 Es geht ein Wehen 

65, 66, 94, 110 

op. 62 No. 7 Vergangen 94 

op. 74 No. 1 Warum ist das Licht 14 
op. 113 Thirteen Canons ..26,72,73,82, 
83, 93, 105, 116 
Brahms' Works without opus numbers 

Benedictus 3, 14, 96, 104 

Brautgesang (or Lied) ......3,14,15, 

70, 96, 104 

Canons 85, 86, 95, 110 

Dein Herzlein Mild 95, 107. 110 

Ellen's Zweiter Gesang ..85, 86, 105, 116 

Folksongs . .11, 12, 49, 58, 70, 72, 73, 7B. 

79, 81, 96-102, 104, 108 

In Stille Nacht (Todtenklage) 93, 110 

28 German Folksongs 11, 12 

49 German Folksongs 11 

Brambach, J 103 

Brandt, Augusta ...36, 38, 39, 40, 46, 56, 69 

Brunner's Music Store 40 

Biilow, Hans von 32 

Burchard, Emilie 57 

Byrd, Wm 103 

Cacilia Verein 13 

Caldara, A 103 

Chamisso, A. von 63,106 

Cornet, Fanziska 68 

Cuxhaven 76,79 


Degenhardt 29 

Dessoff, Margarete 68, 82 

Detmold 15, 16, 23, 42 

Drinker, Henry S 3, 4, 108, 109 

Dusseldorf 59, 60 

Eccard, J 22, 103, 109 

Ehrmann, A. von 52, 116 

Eichendorff, J. von ..50, 63, 65, 67, 72, 84, 


Eppendorf 59 

Faber, Artur and Bertha 81 

"Faber-Chor" 81 

Fallersleben, H. von 84, 106 


Franz, Anna 80 

Frederica, Princess 16 

Friedlander, M 81 

Gabain, Henny 51, 57 

Gallus, J 103 

Garbe, Laura 30, 34, 35, 44, 54, 56, 

59, 70, 71 

Geer, Harold 62 

Geiringer, Karl and Irene 1, 6, 7, 8 

Geisler, Marie 80 

"Gewisse Graue" 39, 46 

Girls' Choir, see Hamburger Frauenchor 

Gliihr, Fraulein 25, 26, 28 

Gobbin, Fraulein 18 

Goethe, W. von 46, 72, 106 

Gottingen 13-17, 112 

Gradener's Academy 18, 47, 57 

Gradener, Emma 57 

Gradener, Karl ...*. 18-20, 23, 26-31, 33, 35, 

37-41, 80 

Gradener, Mme 25, 26 

Grimm, J. O. ..U, 14, 15, 16, 47, 48, 57, 60, 

61, 112, 116 

Grimm, Philippine 13,15,112 

Grund, F. W 24,31,72 

Griin, A 106 

Hailier, Emil 53,69 

Hallier, Julie and Marie 56, 59 

Hamburg Akadeuiie 18 

Hamburg ..4, 9, 17, 18, 31, 43, 57, 60, 66, 72 
Hamburger Frauetichor 

Origin 1, 9-12, 74 

Large Chorus ....20-41, 43, 46-52, 56-59, 


Small group ....11, 12, 19, 43, 49, 51, 58, 

63, 72, 75 

Quartette 44, 59, 70, 71 

Concerts by ...20, 40, 41, 47, 59, 66-69. 


Hamm 69 

Handel, G. Fr 10, 103 

Hasler, H. L 103 

Hasse, J. A 32 


Hauer, Ottilie 80 

Haydn, M 103 

Heins' Piano Store 10 

Heyse, P 64, 65, 106 

Hoffmann, E. T. A 55 

Honnef on the Rhine 44 

Hornbostel, Helene Magnus von 83,116 

Hiibbe, Landvogt J 56 

Hiibbe, W 5,6,59 

Jahrbuch der Gesellschaft Hamburger 

Kunstfreunde 4, 49, 69 

Joachim, J 18, 24, 27, 40, 49, 51, 52, 60. 

61, 62, 67, 68. 70 

Jowien's Music Store 40, 41 

Junghaus, Prof 56 

Kalbeck, M 5.20 

Kater Murr 55 

Konigslow, Clara von 5 

Konigslow, O. von 41, 56 

"Kreisler, J., Jr." 55 

Kuhlau, F i03 

Lentz, Anna 1, 3, 4.. 5, 77, 78, 79 

Lentz, Emilie 56 

"Little Singing Republic" 42,47 

Lorenz, C. Ad 103 

Lotti, A 103 

Mandyczewski, Eusebius 81, 82 

May, Florence 5 

Medal 56, 75, 79 

Meier, Camilla ... .1, 3, 27, 37-41, 57, 76, 77 

Meier, Franziska 1, 3, 4, 18, 22, 

Diary 24-41, 49, 57, 76, 77, 79 

Meier, Frau Senatorin 24, 36 

Mendelssohn, F 103 

Mertens, Antoine 57 

Meysenbug, Fraulein von 23 

Michelmann, E 6 

Morgenstern Chorale : . . 19 

"Mourning Society" 39 

Mozart. "W. A 10, 104 

Muller, Wm 64,92 

Niemeyer's Music Store 40 

Nordheim, Mme 23, 29, 41 

Ossian 50, 52, 57, 67 

Otten, G. D 5 

Palestrina 104 

Peterson, Mme 23, 30, 3S, 41 

Porubsky, Bertha ....36, 40, 42, 46, 56, 81 

Philharmonic Concerts 31, 72, 88 

Purkersdorf 82 

Reuter, Marie 44, 56, 60, 7\^ 

Rieter-Biedermann 6.2 

Rhine Festival 59 

Rosing, Elizabeth 69 

Ruckert, Fr 73,84 

Ruperti, Fr 67 

St. Michael's Church I9,22i 


St. Peter's Church 20, 28, 36, 40, 75 

Sauermann, Kurt 1, 5, 88 

Schaller, N 67 

Schalling, M 104 

Schmaltz, Susanne ....24-26, 31-39, 41, 49, 

56-58, 63 

Schnabel, Teresa Behr 62 

Schubert, Fr 9, 25, 26, 27, 41, 83 

Schuberth's Music Store 40 

Schumann, Clara ....9, 10, 12-14, 22, 43-45, 
51-53, 56-60, 62, 66-70, 80 

Schumann, Robert 27, 29, 31, 39, 47, 

67, 70, 78 

Seebohm, Marie 26, 56 

Shakespeare, Wm 50, 52, 67 

Siebold, Agathe von 6, 13, 16, 112 

Simrock, Fr 21 

Spengel, Dr 24 

Sthamer, Tilla 25, 26, 27, 29, 38, 39 

Stimmenhefte ... .1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 21, 22, 52, 58, 
63, 71, 77-79, 84, 90-104, 111 

Stockhausen, J 32, 41, 82 

Taubert, K, G. W 104 

Theriot, F 104 

"Three Crows" 24, 27, 40 

Trier, Fraulein 29, 37 


Uhland, L 14, 15, 64 

Vest, Albine von 82 

Viardot-Garcia, Pauline 81 

Vienna Singakademie 85 

Vienna 71, 74, 80, 81, 85 

Vienna Sungvercin 80 

Volckers, Betty and Marie ..1, 3, 5, 20, 36, 
39, 44, 56, 59, 69, 70, 71. 74, 84. 104 

Volckers, Jenny and Tony , . . 36 

Voss, J. H 63 

Wagner, Bertha 13,112 

Wagner, Friedchen 1, 2, 5, 9-12, 18, 

19, 25, 26, 29. 34, 35, 42, 47, 52, 56, 63. 
69, 74. 75, 88 

Wagner, Mme 34 

Wagner, Olga 10, 12, 25, 26. 57 

Wagner, Thusnelda 10,12,26,34,39, 

56, 75 

Weinkauf, Tony 37 

Wiechern, Fraulein 25 

Wildbad 9 

Witting, C 104 

Wijllner, Franz 62 

Zacharias, Marie 69 

Zelter, K. F 104 

Zuccalmaglio, A. W. vori 100 

Date Due 

MAR :• ' 

MAY 19 


l-ibrary Bureau Cat. No. 1137 

927.81 B73()rs 

3 5002 00337 8770 

DnnkiT, Sophie Hulchinion 
Br.ihms and his women's choruses. 

ML 410 . Ba D7 

Drinker^ Sophie Hut.chlnson, 


Brahms and his vomen ' s 







' ' h 







■ ,i*: